location: Seal Island, Maine
best viewing hours: 5:00am - 9:00pm
time zone: Eastern Time
The Boulder Berm is a maze of granite boulders and rock crevices forming excellent habitat for Atlantic Puffins nesting at the Seal Island Sanctuary, over 20 miles off the coast of Maine. Most puffins outside of Maine nest in soil burrows dug by their beak and clawed, webbed feet, but with the shallow soil, the best habitat is beneath these massive rocks.
The view you see from this cam is composed of glacially deposited boulders, scraped, smoothed, and dropped onto Seal Island when the last continental glacier retreated from Maine about 10,000 years ago. Along the shoreline of Seal Island, winter storms have washed away the soil and wave action has piled up the boulders along the shoreline; strong storm will still shift the boulders into new configurations. The Puffin Burrow Cam resides in this terrain; while the Boulder Berm camera gives you an above ground view of an essential puffin colony.
When Project Puffin brought puffin chicks from Newfoundland to Seal Island (1984-1988), the chicks were raised in sod burrows and then released. Upon their return to Seal Island eight years later (1992), they chose the boulder berm habitat as their first nesting place. This area has grown to over 100 nesting pairs within the original habitat, and is now the densest puffin community on the island.
Today, ocean levels are increasing in response to melting glacial ice at Earth’s pole. This may eventually flood some of the puffin burrows on Seal Island, especially during extreme tides and storm surges. Project Puffin has already documented such flooding and begun placing decoys to encourage new pairs of puffins to nest at higher ground.
This live cam comes to you via explore.org, the philanthropic media organization and division of the Annenberg Foundation. It is part of a collection of more than a hundred HD cams around the world established by Charles Annenberg to help people connect with nature and fall in love with the world again. To see more live cams visit, explore.org.