Many people might remember the North Berwick area in Scotland as once the site of a very famous large open-airswimming pool. Others might know it for its rich history, as the area becomes quite a popular tourist destination in the Nineteenth Century. Once a vivid and prosperous region, the 1980’s economic downfall left the town an eyesore; that is, until the Scottish Seabird Centre found it’s home. Located just at the inner harbour, the centre brought new life back into the area, which took nearly 10 years of hard work and dedication to develop.
On May 21st, 2000 the Scottish Seabird Centre was officially opened and is graciously supported by a community wide support of many volunteers to this day.
One of the attractions that drive the most visitors to the site is the infamous Puffin. Puffins are stocky, short-winged and short-tailed birds, with black upper parts and white or brownish-grey under parts. The colorful outer part of their bill is shed after their short breeding season, which begins in March, revealing a smaller and duller true bill beneath.
The SOS Puffin Protection Program is the Scottish Seabird Centre's award winning mission to save the puffins on the surrounding islands. Due to a giant plant called the Tree Mallow, the puffin colonies became endangered. The number of birds dropped from 28,000 to just a few thousand in a very short period of time.
The centre provides a non-threatened environment for the puffins to call home while they prepare for their breeding season while also creating an entertaining and enchanting performance for its spectators. They strut around in their elaborate ‘costumes’ and bright orange feet supplying quite the party.
This project has had enormous resonance with the local and wider community and the response to call for volunteers has been impressive; however, as a long-term project, it is essential that 'Save Our Puffins' is financially viable. The importance of the project lies in the deadly threat to a vital puffin habitat and its success is in the already-improving situation from the constructed habitat.
With help from supporters of the SPCA International Shelter Program, we can help them continue their incredible work on behalf of the puffin population.