These adorable little birds are gone for the season!
Here is some great information I found on the Maine Birding Trail website.
MAINE BIRDING TRAIL website:
"Atlantic Puffins come ashore to breed in late April and begin returning to the sea in August. Some linger into September, but the fruitful season for visitation is only about a dozen weeks long. Tours begin at the end of May and usually finish for the season in mid August.
Puffins are truly pelagic. When fledged, young puffins will not return to land until they are mature enough to breed about five years later. Once they leave their islands, all the puffins disperse across the ocean and are seldom seen, even from boats. Puffins are rarely seen from the mainland.
A century ago, puffins were nearly eliminated from the state as the colorful birds were prized for their feathers and their eggs were gathered for the dinner table. In 1973, the Puffin Project was established in an attempt to bring them back to their historical range. Although the project has been a resounding success, major threats still remain.
Open air dumps in the 1900s caused an overpopulation of gulls, which competed for space on nesting islands and they often preyed upon puffin chicks. Gulls remain a significant obstacle. Food resources are also in great peril. Overfishing and the elimination of spawning habitat has greatly diminished herring and other small fish species relied upon by the puffins."