Friday, March 27, 2009

Iceland is for the birds!

August 7, 2008
This morning we find ourselves in the very dramatic fjords of northwest Iceland in the Hornstrandir peninsula. Atlantic puffins wheel past, their beaks full of a tasty meal for their waiting chicks, snuggled deep into burrows excavated in the ground.
Not to be outdone by a mere puffin, an Arctic tern gets into the action as well!
Nothing is more comical than watching these fat little birds trying to come in for a landing with a beak full of fish. The wings flare, the feet come out as brakes, and they literally just fall out of the sky onto the grassy hills!
In contrast to the puffins, the Arctic tern is sleek and aerodynamic. Long lines, graceful wings and tail, with a long and narrow beak. These birds are elegant in flight!
What the puffin lacks in grace it makes up for with brute strength. Such a chunky and stout little bird, but you have to admit that its pretty cool to carry so many fish in your beak at once!

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