The 2014 Dawn to Dark Puffin Feeding Study at Egg Rock
To learn more about the number of feedings per day and numbers of fish fed to puffin chicks, interns at Eastern Egg Rock and Seal Island took turns watching a sample of nests in 2014 from dawn to dusk. At Eastern Egg Rock, six nests were watched continuously beginning at dawn, around 4:40 a.m., and ending at 9 p.m. when it was approaching complete darkness. Together, they watched the burrows for seven 16.5 hour days, totaling 115.5 hours of observation.
The first feedings of the day began around 5:00 a.m., with a peak of feedings between 5-7 a.m. Feedings slowed during late morning and afternoon, with a second peak of feeding between 6-8 p.m.
When Do Puffin Parents Feed their Chick?
How Often Do Puffin Parents Feed their Chick?
How Much Food Does it Take to Feed a Puffin Chick?
At Eastern Egg Rock in 2014, a study of six puffin chicks found that chicks were fed an average of five feedings per day during their first week, with feedings increasing to a peak of about 13 feedings per day during their fourth week. Feedings per day dropped during the fifth week to about 8 feedings per day and only an occasional feeding was observed thereafter. Most chicks fledged by 42 days of age. Over the course of the six week chick rearing period, the parent puffins delivered an average of about 2,500 fish per chick in the following proportion: 1,900 White Hake, 250 Sebastes, sp., 150 Atlantic Herring and 75 Sand Lance. In total, it took about 2.25 pounds of fish to raise each chick.