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Environment and Outdoors

Scientist Who Successfully Rebooted Puffin Colony To Retire

Brian Bechard
Maine Public
Dr. Stephen Kress, vice president of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society, in a bird blind on Eastern Egg Rock.

PORTLAND, Maine — A scientist who helped re-establish puffins on islands off the Maine coast is retiring at month’s end.

Dr. Steve Kress served as executive director of the Seabird Restoration Program and vice president of bird conservation at the National Audubon Society.

Kress said that about 1,000 puffin chicks were moved from Newfoundland to Eastern Egg Rock, starting in 1973. He said he’s proud to have succeeded in rebooting the colony.

Kress earned global recognition for his "social attraction" techniques using bird decoys, sound recordings, and mirrors to lure puffins to Eastern Egg Rock.

The seabird work continues under the leadership of Dr. Donald Lyons, who spent 20 years at Oregon State University working on seabird science and conservation.