Remarkable images show puffin pulled from burrow and robbed of dinner by seagull


STUNNING pictures show a seagull picking up and shaking a tiny puffin to steal its dinner.

The puffin has a beak-full of sand eels which the ravenous gull will stop at nothing to steal.

The images, taken by Scottish amateur wildlife photographer Karen Miller, show the puffin desperately hanging on to its hard-won food as it is picked up by the tail and wing.

The puffin tries to dive head-first into its burrow

The battle, on the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland, ends with the puffin giving up its meal and seeking safety in its burrow.

In an amazing series of photographs, the puffin tries in vain to dive into its burrow but is pulled back by the gull.

The puffin is shaken by the tail

Debris goes flying as the merciless bird shakes the defenseless puffin by the tail, trying to free the sand eels from its grasp.

In one photo the gull grabs at the puffin again, this time pinching its wing and turfing it aside.

The gull jabs at its rival

At the end of the battle, the seagull finally eats wins the reward and appears to be standing on top of the defeated puffin.

Karen, 45, from Edinburgh, said: “The puffin had a mouthful of sand eels, it flew directly into its burrow, but the gull was waiting at the entrance.

“The gull reached in and pulled the puffin out by its tail and shook until the sand eels were dropped.

The puffin starts to drop its catch

“The final image shows the gull eating the fish with the puffin just visible sheltering at the mouth of the burrow.”

Puffins can live for up to 30 years and they nest in rabbit like burrows along the shoreline.

The gull eats the eels as the puffin, just visible, seeks safety in its burrow

The birds eat mostly sand eels, a key staple of their diet, as well as other small sea creatures and fish.

According to the National Trust, puffins are an red-listed bird species meaning there has been a severe decline in the population over the last 25 years.

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