A Remote Teardrop-Shaped Canadian Island Is Full Of Thousands Of Puffins
Do you need another item for your Canadian bucket list? Machias Seal Island is a tiny, remote spot off New Brunswick that's home to thousands of Atlantic puffins and it's a nature lover's dream. There are even disputes over who owns this little spot.
Shaped like a teardrop, it's about 550 metres long and 250 metres wide with a rocky shoreline and a lush green meadow covering the higher areas.
It's located about 20 kilometres off the southwestern tip of Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy which is about 121 kilometres away from Saint John, New Brunswick.
A lot of seabirds nest there and it's an official migratory bird sanctuary.
It's home to more than 1,000 pairs of Atlantic puffins and the island is one of the southernmost colonies of the bird.
Puffins aren't the only ones hanging out there.
Razorbills also inhabit the island, though they don't have as big of a population as the puffins, with about 100 pairs there. They're larger than the other bird and have a distinctive white ring around their bills.
More than 100 different species have been spotted on Machias Seal Island, including uncommon and rare ones.
Unfortunately, the number of feathered friends that nest there has declined because of the reduced availability of food around the island and other factors.
Over 1,200 photographers and naturalists come to the island every year to see the sanctuary.
There are several tour companies that offer boat trips to Machias Seal Island to see the puffins, razorbills and more.
According to Global News, only two small tour boats with 15 people each from Maine and New Brunswick can arrive each day.
So, if you've ever dreamed of taking in a natural wonder like this, you might want to put this at the top of your list of things to do once we can get out into the world again.
The island is open to the public during most of the year except during the nesting season which happens in June and July.
This island is small but mighty.
According to the federal government, Machias Seal Island was a serious hazard for ships until a permanent lighthouse was built there in 1832.
That lighthouse is still in operation today.
Over the years there have been disputes about whether Canada or the U.S. can claim the island as theirs.
However, it's owned by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and managed by Canadian Wildlife Service, Atlantic Region.