A lonely white puffin may have been forced to shack up with a flatmate to avoid the scorn of his colony.
The little seabird looks like an albino, but has an orange eyes and bill and black edges on a few feathers, and was actually born with a condition called leucism, in which colour pigments are diluted.
When he arrived on the island of Skomer, off the coast of Pembrokeshire, in the Spring, he was the only white bird and his unusual colouring led to him being ostracised and attacked by his sootier island mates.
But after weeks of hunting for love, island wardens say he is living with another bird in an underground burrow. Yet his new companion might not be his mate.
Experts at The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales that he may have made home with a puffin of the same sex to avoid confrontations with the rest of the colony.
Bee Beuche, one of the wardens on Skomer, said: “A white puffin is very rare. I have been in Skomer for five years and he is the first one that I have seen.
“We did notice in the spring that he was trying to find a mate, and going around burrows and being chased away and being pecked a lot so that might have been because of his colouring.
“The other wardens now say he has made a burrow with another puffin, but we don’t know if this is his mate or not. Sometimes puffins will build a burrow with other birds to avoid aggravating the colony.
“But he seems to be quite established now and isn’t getting picked on like he was.”
The white puffin, who is thought to be around four years old, is the only one of his type on Skomer’s 25,000 strong puffin colony.