Puffin Rescued from Glacier Skip to content

Puffin Rescued from Glacier

By Larissa Kyzer

Photo: Sleipnir Tours.

A group of people on a tour of Langjökull glacier got a surprise on Thursday when they found a puffin in the snow, RÚV reports.

The group was touring Langjökull in a specially designed glacier bus when they noticed the wayward bird. “He was lying there and couldn’t fly,” explained Sleipnir Tours’ Martha Jónasdóttir, who was leading the group. “We got out of the bus and couldn’t believe our eyes,” she continued.

Photo via Sleipnir Tours

They took the bird into the bus and gave him the chance to recuperate during the rest of the tour, after which they drove to Borganes in West Iceland and released it on the shoreline. Having had several hours to warm up in the bus, the bird had no trouble flying away.

Martha regularly leads glacier tours but says she’s never seen a puffin on a glacier. She says she’s seen ravens near the entrance of the Into the Glacier ice cave on occasion, but never birds of any kind on the glacier itself.

Erpur Snær Hansen, a biologist and the director of the South Iceland Nature Institute, told RÚV that he didn’t have any explanation for how a puffin could have lost its way and ended up on the glacier. Puffins often get blown off course in poor weather, he said, but they rarely end up so far astray.

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