I remember my first puffin. I was in a zodiac, on my way to visit the whales, and this little orange-beaked tuxedo-ed gentleman was bobbing along on the waves as cool as you please.
The Project Puffin live camera above is observing puffins on the coast of Maine, where Audubon's Stephen Kress, "the puffin man", has been trying to keep the number of puffins from declining. He had been successful until recently, when he noted a large number of puffin babies dying. The parent puffins have been bringing the babies sunfish, which are too large for them to eat, and the babies have been struggling to ingest enough nourishment. Stephen wondered why the parents had switched from their usual herring and hake, till he realized there was a much bigger problem.
The temperature in the Gulf of Maine, the "food bank" of the western Atlantic, has been warming faster than any marine environment on earth, wiping out the zooplankton that supplies the entire food web. Other species are affected as well, as, ultimately, humans will be too.
Meanwhile, baby puffins are dying in large numbers in the Gulf, and the sea just keeps getting hotter.
Robert Bukaty/AP photo