Puffin found wandering on Nantasket Beach

Posted: 01/30/13 at 10:50 pm EST      Last Updated: 01/30/13 at 11:03 pm EST

HULL, Mass. (WHDH) -- A puffin was found wandering on Nantasket Beach Tuesday.

The early bird arrived in New England way before the start of summer.

And even then, they usually don't go farther south than Maine.

The multi-colored beak makes it unique -- but from far away, the puffin looked like any other bird.

“We saw something flapping around on the beach and we went over, and, at first we thought it was a seagull,” said Kathy Jordan.

Tuesday morning, Kathy Jordan and Freddie Yaitanes were walking along Nantasket Beach with their dog, Buddy, when they found the bird known as the “sea parrot” -- and it's easy to understand why.

“I said to Kathy, ‘That's not a seagull, because it's orange and red,’” Yaitanes said.

“That's when I think is said to Freddie, ‘I think that’s a puffin, but we don’t have puffins around here,’ it's like really unusual,” said Jordan.

New England Aquarium officials say when puffins come close to shore, it's almost always weather related.

The North Atlantic Puffin is rarely seen in Massachusetts -- and almost never in the winter -- but there have been two other sightings since October off the coast of Gloucester and Provincetown.

While they look like penguins, puffins can fly. However, the one Jordan and Yaitanes found never got in the air, leading many to wonder if it's injured.

“It seemed like it was disoriented, it didn’t know where to go. And just in my heart I thought, ‘The bird wants to be back in the water and he’s confused,’” said Jordan.

So Jordan picked up the puffin and helped it back to the water.

It was a rare sight, a memorable morning--and hopefully a happy ending.

“We could see him dipping in and out of the waves so I was like, okay, he’s happy now. I did my good deed for the day, it really made my whole day, seriously,” Jordan said.

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