Shocking image shows endangered puffin carrying plastic to nest on Scots island

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A SHOCKING image shows an endangered puffin carrying a piece of plastic back to its nest on a Scots island.

Harrison Brown, 24, snapped the picture of the puffin mid-flight holding a piece of blue plastic on the Isle of Staffa off the west coast of Mull last week.

The endangered creature can be seen with its wings spread wide, while another puffin looks on at the bird with the long piece of man-made material between its beak.

Puffin mid flight
Image shows an endangered puffin carrying a piece of plastic back to its nest on a Scots island, while another looks on.           C. Harrison Brown

According to Harrison, who documents his photography on his Instagram page @hblifelens, there were multiple other puffins that were also picking up pieces of litter.

There are now said to be under 600 of the endangered sea birds left in Scotland today.

The amateur photographer from Glasgow believed the birds were snatching up the discarded rubbish “thinking it was an eel”.

Harrison posted the image to Facebook on Sunday, writing: “A pretty sad image of a puffin carrying plastic back to it’s nest.

“It’s such a shame the effects plastic pollution is having on wildlife.

Puffin mid flight
Image shows an endangered puffin carrying a piece of plastic back to its nest on a Scots island, while another looks on.                      C. Harrison Brown

“If you are ever wild camping or exploring Scotland please remember to leave no trace.

“Please share this to spread the word.”

The post has now received dozens of likes and multiple shares from social media users who were shocked and saddened to see the image of the puffin.

Lorna Macnab said: “That image speaks more than words about what we are doing to the planet.”

Myra Lockett wrote: “Humans can be such litter bugs.

“Thanks for the post.”

Speaking today, Harrison said: “I believe it was either thinking it was food or using it for its nest.

“It must have been out at sea and bringing it back thinking it was an eel.

“I was very upset that even on this remote island, in the middle of nowhere, people are spoiling the landscapes with litter.”

Harrison Brown
Harrison Brown, 24, who snapped the image.              C. Harrison Brown

Puffins use the Isle of Staffa as a mating ground between April and July.

As many as 450 of the endangered seabirds migrate to the island at the beginning of April to find a partner, but some remain on the Island after the season ends.

Puffins are native to northern parts of Scotland and the population has been in decline in the last decade due the migration of their main food source, sand eels.

According to a recent campaign carried out by the MacDonald hotel group, there are only 570 puffins left in Scotland.