Polishing the puffin exhibit

If you have visited the Aquarium recently, you’ve probably noticed that our popular Sea Cliffs Exhibit on level 4 is closed for renovations.  The Aquarium puffins, razorbills and black guillemots are taking a short sabbatical while our Exhibits and Design team gives their home a thorough clean and polish!

The birds have moved to special offsite quarters that maintain exhibit temperatures of 50°F, and water quality analysts monitor the temporary freshwater systems created for these little divers.

The Sea Cliffs exhibit is designed to recreate the birds’ natural nesting environment. It includes rocky outcroppings and a pool that holds nearly 6,500 gallons of water. According to our animal care staff, the Aquarium puffins behave much the same as they would in a natural habitat. The staff also add special enrichments to the exhibit that encourages the birds to play and interact with their habitat.

Check out the video below to see some of these enrichment activities, and be sure to enter our Fish Friday contest below!

Today is Fish Friday and we have another contest for our followers!

Name one of the enrichment items featured in the video that these birds can eat.

Please post your answer as a comment to this post by 5 p.m. EST today, January 22nd. Correct answers will be entered into a drawing for a puffin prize pack featuring two tickets to the National Aquarium and a puffin plush! The winner will be awarded on Monday, January 25th. Good luck!


34 Responses to “Polishing the puffin exhibit”

  1. 1 Christie January 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Plastic plants and pine needles

  2. 2 angela boughner January 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    fish mixed in ice

  3. 3 Christie January 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Plastic plants and pine needles., Sorry but I put to many 2’s in my email. this is my email ms_sugar22@yahoo.com

  4. 4 Kristi Horst January 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    They eat the fish in the mounds of ice.

  5. 6 Ellie January 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Crickets or fish hidden in ice

  6. 7 heather trammell January 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm


  7. 8 Elizabeth Holden January 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Fish in ice!

  8. 9 Ryan Mathus January 22, 2010 at 4:05 pm


  9. 10 Jeffrey Miller January 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Crickets, pine needles, plastic plants, ice and fish.

  10. 12 Jesse Holden January 22, 2010 at 4:10 pm


  11. 13 Julie Bond January 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Live crickets! Pine needles.

  12. 14 Jaclyn January 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Fish Hidden Among Ice.=)

  13. 16 Maureen Townsend January 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Pine needles and plastic plants. Thanks 🙂

  14. 17 Jill Yagotin January 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Pine needles and plastic plants to encourage foraging.

  15. 18 Jason Brookes January 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Fish hidden in mounds of ice

  16. 19 Nathan January 22, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Fish in ice

  17. 20 Meghan McKinney January 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm


  18. 21 Kelly N January 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Live crickets

  19. 22 Joan January 22, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Live crickets

  20. 23 Dave January 22, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    fish mixed in ice

  21. 24 Ashley Hodak January 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Fish Popcicles (aka Fish buried within the ice)

    On a side note, the Puffin is my favorite aquarium resident! Call it having a soft spot for animals that mate for life.

  22. 27 Liz January 22, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    The birds can eat the fish that is placed in the piles of ice cubes to encourage natural foraging behaviors.

    I’ve never been to the National Aquarium! I’d love to see those birds and all of the other great exhibits!

  23. 28 Scott Taylor January 22, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Crickets. Yummy!

  24. 29 Brittany January 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    The edible enrichment was Live Crickets? Did the video not say the plastic plants and pine needles were for eating or did I just miss it? hmmm

  25. 30 Michaele Garza January 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm


  26. 31 DAB January 22, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Yea to Jen, Jonathan and Tracy for whipping up this video puzzle! Nice work and fun on a Friday!

  27. 32 Charlotte January 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Fish in ice!

  28. 33 Lisa Bowers January 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm


  29. 34 National Aquarium January 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Thanks to everyone who participated! The corrent answers were fish and crickets. People with a correct answer were entered into a random drawing. The winner will be contacted today via email.

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