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Monday, April 11, 2016

Akurey Island (Puffin Island), Iceland

Only about a half-mile off Reykjavik, in the fjord Kollafjordur, lie six islands, two of which have puffin colonies, Akurey and Lundey.

Akurey has the largest puffin colony and also cormorants, black guillemots, eider ducks, seagulls, kittiwakes and several other seabirds. Puffins nest on the island in burrows they dig for safety and warmth.

Puffins return to the same site to breed year after year. They lay a single egg in late April or early May and then feed the fledgling for a month or two before deserting the nest and the fledgling. Puffins begin breeding at around five or six years of age and live up to 20 years.

Akurey is uninhabited which is why it has become such an important place for nesting seabirds, despite how close it is to the city center. Many of the whale-watching boats pause at Akurey because it’s possible to see the puffins and their nesting burrows from on board the boats.

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