Puffin Patrol

Molly Bawn's ecological involvement

The Molly Bawn whale watching boat tour takes you on an adventure, just 40 mins from St. John’s. Every tour is a great opportunity to see humpback whales up close.

The Molly Bawn Whale & Puffin Tours crew is an important part of the Puffin Patrol.


The artificial lights of the Southern Shore and Witless Bay can lure the young puffins onto land, and even lead them to the dangerous streets! Puffin chicks fly in the night, using the stars and the moon as a navigational system, directing them to the sea. But some chicks move in the direction of artificial lighting on land. Puffins are seabirds, and aren’t adept at surviving on land.


The Puffin Patrol is group of volunteers devoted to rescuing lost puffins, and releasing them back into the Atlantic Ocean, safely and responsibly.


The Puffin and Petrel Patrol started around 2005. Juergen and Elfie Schau were visiting Witless Bay from Berlin, Germany. They noticed baby puffins stranded along the roadside, and wanted to help. They recruited the locals to help rescue the stranded puffins, and learned this was a regular event during fledging season.

Molly Bawn crew members are puffin patrollers every night, keeping an eye out for lost puffin chicks. Rescued puffins are carefully weighed, measured, banded, and kept safe overnight. The next morning, our crew assists with releasing them out into the open sea.


When there are too many predatory gulls near the beach, we dedicate our first boat tour of the day to give the puffin chicks a lift out to sea, far away from the gulls. This gives them a second chance at their new life. They can grow up, and come back to the puffin islands for years to come.


Depending on the season, you can help us release baby puffins yourself. Hold a puffin in your own hands!


In 2014, a total of 825 puffins were rescued! We estimate a total of over 1,500 birds have been rescued, just since we started counting.


The Molly Bawn whale & puffin boat tour is just 40 mins from St. John’s. Every tour is a great opportunity to see puffins up close.

Atlantic Puffins

Atlantic Puffins are colourful seabirds. They’re small, and have webbed feet to help them swim. They live on the edges of the Atlantic Ocean, on tiny puffin islands. They swim on the surface of the sea, and eat small fish by diving underwater from the air.


The Molly Bawn boat tour travels to the largest Atlantic Puffin colony in North America. The beautiful seabirds flutter all around our boat.


(Photo by Richard Bartz, [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons)