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Iceland Community Tosses Puffins Into The Ocean, But It’s For A Good Reason!

kids toss pufflings into ocean

Folks in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland join “puffin patrols” to help keep pufflings safe. They head out in the evenings, find pufflings who have lost their way, and then eventually toss the pufflings into the ocean.

Why on earth would they do that?

Pufflings live by the ocean and not on land, like their adult counterparts. In the late summer, they use the moon to find the ocean, where they’ll spend a few years living.

holding puffling
This image is from TikTok.

However, with city lights, pufflings can get a bit confused about which direction the ocean is in. Many pufflings in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland lose sight of the ocean and, instead, head toward the town. When this happens, there’s little chance that the puffling is going to find its way without some assistance.

That’s where puffin patrol comes in!

Families team up with the Sea Life Trust Puffin Rescue Centre and head out into the night to find pufflings who have lost their way. When they find them, they bring them to the rescue to be checked out, before taking them to cliffs to toss them in the right direction.

It’s a sight to see. Parents and their children jump around, trying to quickly capture the bird before they fly off into the night. Once inspected, the toss into the ocean is a dramatic display of the puffling’s flight skills. Don’t worry; these pufflings know how to fly and land!

Puffin patrol is a fun and important activity for this Icelandic island. Members of the community of all ages come together for a great cause.


People are tossing baby puffins off cliffs and shorelines in Iceland – and it’s for their own good! These people are on Puffling Patrol and they’re saving the baby puffins one by one ❤️ I first learned about the Puffling Patrol because many of you tagged me in a video by @Kyana Sue Powers • Iceland, and then I went down a rabbit hole learning more about it! She posts about all things Iceland if you’re interested in more. 🇮🇸 🎥 CBC News / Nat Geo TV / @Oda W. Andreasen (TikTok) / CBS / jj.trailwalker (Instagram) / NPR / Sebastien Despres (YouTube)

♬ original sound – jenn💜 good news & fun stories

The featured image for this post is from TikTok.

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