It’s a fact: the more you know about something, the more you appreciate and like that thing. So imagine how much you’ll love puffins after David Suzuki tells you all about them Thursday night on CBC’s The Nature of Things.

Rosemary House and Charlotte Engel – of Rock Island Productions and Rock Yenta Productions – shot a 45-minute documentary on our provincial bird, and on Thursday the 19th, it’ll premiere on CBC at 8pm.

You know these fetching feathered attractions draw tourists as well as do whales and icebergs, but did you know they’ll “divorce” a mate not keeping up with parental duties, or that the reason they hang out in such huge numbers is to collectively outsmart the gulls trying to steal a supper off them?

We’re home to 300,000 pairs of puffins – it’s the largest colony in North America. And it turns out their interesting little things. The doc on Thursday also covers “The Puffin Patrol” – a group of biologists helping and studying the species, and sharing what they know.

The episode will take you from here to remote locations in Maine and Wales, exploring the puffin’s unique migration patterns, feeding habits, and navigational patterns, as well as what is decreasing population.

“Puffins are fascinating creatures,” House says. “They are full of character, comical, colourful, and loved by people across the globe. Yet, they are still such a mystery.” Previous films for this award-winning filmmaker include Hold Fast (the adaptation of Kevin Major’s novel) and Gemini nominee Ahead of the Curve.

Charlotte Engel’s previous production credits include Carpe Diem: A Fishy Tale (also for CBC’s The Nature of Things), and Mugshot, which premiered at the prestigious Hot Docs International Documentary Festival.

Engel says that one of the most interesting aspects of the documentary has been witnessing people’s passion for the puffin. “For instance, we followed families and environmentalists on Newfoundland’s annual Puffin Patrol, as they rescued baby puffins at night from the roadside where they’d gone astray.”

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