18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
An Atlantic Puffin stretches its wings, wild and free

This was captured while I working on a remote offshore island studying the comeback of these marvelous species to Maine, US. Living remote amongst the lively colony of these seabirds brought back to the US coastline by human perseverance and care for conservation was truly inspiring. This image is one of my favourites as this puffin fluffs it's chest out and stretches' its wings I can't help but be awed by their remarkable charisma, beauty and charm. I am also proud that because of the hard work of humans, these birds are making a comeback from an otherwise grim history of extirpation along this coastline. This puffin is 100% wild and free.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Photo Location: Matinicus Rock, Maine, United States of America
Copyright: © Kaila Ritchie