Coburg Island and neighbouring waters were recently designated a Canadian National Wildlife Area. The large seabird colony at Cambridge Point has been previously described, and is dominated by Thick-billed Murres (160 000 pairs). We found that a small offshore island, named Princess Charlotte Monument, also supported breeding populations of seven marine bird species; three of which did not breed at the main colony (i.e., Northern Fulmar, Common Eider, and Atlantic Puffin). This is the most northern confirmed breeding site for Atlantic Puffins in Canada. Puffins at both Coburg Island and northern Greenland nest in rock crevices, apparently because permafrost in soil prevents burrow nesting. We suggest that puffin populations in the high arctic may be limited by habitat, rather than prey availability.
Additional publication details
Breeding Atlantic Puffins, Fratercula arctica, and other birds species of Coburg Island, Nunavut