Iceland is home to the world’s largest Atlantic puffin colony, but the birds’ breeding has been a “total failure” since 2005. PHOTOGRAPH BY FRANS LANTING, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
August 27th, 2014. Climate and ocean changes blamed for huge losses of puffins, kittiwakes, and terns.
FLATEY ISLAND, Iceland—When the days grew long, seabirds flocked to this hamlet on the edge of the Arctic to rear their chicks under the midnight sun.
“Kria,” shrieked the terns, calling summer up from the slumbering ground. Black cliffs were transformed into snowbanks of white kittiwakes. Puffins whirred between land and sea. Murres plied the shoreline; fulmars patrolled the skies. Everywhere sounded their vibrant chorus.