More than four decades ago, budding ornithologist Stephen Kress picked up an old field guide, and read that colonies of puffins had once nested on a tiny Maine island called Egg Rock, the last ones disappearing around 1885.
That fact so captivated him, he decided to try something that no other ornithologist ever had - he would attempt to restore a native bird population to the Maine islands where they had once thrived.
But it would be no simple task. Not only did it mean finding puffin chicks and transplanting them as hatchlings, but also hand-rearing them, tagging them and then waiting for years for them to grow up at sea and come home to mate and rear their own young. If they came back at all.
Today, more than 1,000 pairs of puffins populate the five Maine islands around Muscongus Bay. But it took eight years before the first pair came home to mate, and another 30 or so to get the healthy population that lives and nests there today.
Stephen Kress's new book "Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock" documents not only the effort to restore the population to Egg Rock, but also the history of the region's puffins, and a look forward to their future fate.
See More Of Derrick Jackson's Photos Of Puffins
This segment aired on May 12, 2015.