Puffins and Animals at the Cliffs of Moher

Top Things to see

The Cliffs of Moher are home to one of the largest colonies of cliff nesting birds in Ireland including over 35 species of birds. The best viewing period for the colony in full swing is from April to July before the birds move on to their next seasonal home. The Great Sea Stack (An Branaunmore) is the destination of our cruise and plays host to thousands of sea birds nesting on its steep ledges. Our cruise gets you up close for amazing once in a lifetime views.

  • Puffins
  • Basking Sharks
  • Kittiwakes
  • Razorbills
  • Dolphins
The much adored

Puffins

The Puffin is an unmistakable bird with its black back and white under parts, distinctive black head, large pale cheeks, and a tall, flattened, brightly-coloured tail. This bird is a member of the Auk family. Puffins burrow into the cliffs sides and nest in the grassy hillsides of the Cliffs. They are most visible while fishing in the water or on our Cliffs of Moher Ferry in the months of May and June.

Did you know puffins beaks glow?

Atlantic puffins’ beaks are colorful and distinct which scientists suspect makes them more attractive to the opposite sex​. But it just so happens that there’s more to their colourful beaks than that, they are also fluorescent. In a fairly recent discovery by Jamie Dunning, an ornithologist affiliated with the University of Nottingham, he recently discovered by accident that Atlantic puffins’ beaks light up when placed under UV light.

It isn’t entirely clear why Puffins have glowing beaks but there are some pretty good theories. Puffins have the ability to see UV wavelengths, which are invisible to humans. This means that other puffins could see the glowing beaks in regular daylight conditions. Most theories about why auks have beaks that glow are based around breeding. For a start thier beaks are seasonal so both male and females grow colourful plates (with UV activated streaks) for the summer months only and then discard them for simpler ones for the winter before they take to the high seas.

Annimals at the Cliffs of Moher

Listen to the Seabirds

Kittiwakes

This gull sports grey feather on top, a white underbelly, and black tipped wings. These adult birds have a yellow bill, dark legs, and a white head in summer. In winter they then dawn a dark patch behind the eye. Kittiwakes nest on the upper portion of the great sea stack and are quite a noisy crew!

Razorbills

This seabird is medium-sized in stature with black colouring above and white below. It has a thick black beak which is deep and blunt, unlike the thinner bill of the guillemot. They are also members of the Auk family and believe it or not related to the Puffin. These birds only come to shore to breed and winter in the Northern Atlantic.

Guillimots

These lovely birds are dark brown and white (not as black as the Razorbill) and have a “bridled” form with a white ring round the eye and stripe behind it. These birds nest on the lower half of the Great Sea Stack and are usually the most numerous birds amongst the colonies. They only come to land to nest and spend the rest of their lives at sea as very adept swimmers. Many on board our cruise often mistake them for penguins, but we can assure you they are not!

Dolphins

Sharks and Seals

Basking sharks can be spotted sailing by peacefully in the waters near base of the Cliffs.

Occasional common gray seals can be spotted at the base of the Cliffs.

Dolphin pods swim playfully by the ferry quite often on our Cliffs of Moher Cruise. We are a proud sponsor of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group that carries out important research to protect Irish sea animals and their habitats.

 

On Land

Mammals

Various land mammals including badgers, stoats and rabbits also call this area home.

The local fields on top of the Cliffs are often filled with the local farmers cattle herds, lucky them! Lean more about animals at The Cliffs of Moher on our ferry trip.

Sail with Us

Doolin Ferry Co.

Doolin Ferry operates a fast ferry fleet from Doolin to the Aran Islands. The ‘Aran Islands Express’ and ‘Doolin Express’ ferries are the largest, fastest, and most comfortable ships in Doolin.

Doolin Ferry Fleet sailing below the Cliffs of Moher on a cruise

Cliffs of Moher

Ferries from Doolin to Aran Islands, Ireland.

Doolin

Dun Aonghasa on Inis Mor, Aran Islands Ferries.

Aran Islands

Doolin Ferry Fleet sailing below the Cliffs of Moher on a cruise

Sailing Times

Reviews
What Our Passengers Say ...

Excellent way to see the Cliffs of Moher. Great and informative young guy who took us out was so friendly and helpful, even offering to take photos for us...

Audrey Whittaker

Very clean boats and staff were very helpful..would recommend a tour.

Anthony Moran Dublin

This is a great boat trip to see the Cliffs of Moher. The guide was very knowledgeable but was hard to hear. Would recommend this cliffs of moher cruise.

Fionnuala Higgina