Also known as a sea parrot these birds are quite an interesting animal. They are also known as the clowns of the sea due to their “clown makeup appearance”.
These birds are very brightly colored as you can see, they have these very strong colored feet and a multi colored beak. Although they are often compared to penguins they are actually not, the black and white coloring on the feathers would tell you otherwise though. The penguins are from the Spheniscidae family and the puffins are from the Alcidae family. The Alcidae Family however only has 3 species of puffin which is the Atlantic Puffin, Horned Puffin, and the Tufted Puffin. Another difference between the penguins and puffins is that in fact, the puffin can fly, unlike the penguin. The Puffin can flap its wings at 400 times per minute flying at a supersonic speed of 54 mph. They use their specially designed webbed feet to help them dive right down into the sea to hunt for fish. They can actually dive up to 60 meters, a giraffe is 6 meters tall so it’s in fact 10 times the height of the giraffe.
The Atlantic Puffin is found on rocky coasts in the Northern Atlantic Ocean during the breeding season and on the open ocean in the non-breeding season. The webbed feet and wings that I mentioned earlier really help to make these birds a top predator in the water. They will use them wings and feet to dive deeper and deeper. Although, it must be said they usually do crash land when flying in the air. The puffin can actually dive under water two ways, the first way will be from flying in the air and diving head first into the water. The second is simply diving down when already in the water. It catches small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks and usually swallows them underwater. The puffins do have a so called Backwards spine system going on in the beak. This is so they can hold multiple fishing there beak without dropping them. Usually, the number of fish in a puffins beak is 10 however it has been found the most ever was recorded at 62. Atlantic puffins are very social birds and they have even been known to go up to wooden replicas and try and communicate. A group of Puffins is called Circuses or Puffinries.
Puffins return to their nesting sites in April each year and remain here until around mid-August. The puffins are loyal to their partners so they will have their own set breeding pair. The next challenge is to find a nesting site for their egg, the puffins will use their beak to chip away at the rocks or ground and use the feet as a shovel. Where borrowing is not possible, the birds nest under boulders or in cracks and cavities in cliffs. The perfect nesting site is near the edge of the cliff making it very quick to get in and out of the water. The puffin will only lay a single egg inside of the nest, they will take turns incubating the egg this is only a short period between 36 and 45 days. The puffins actually desert the young just before the young are ready to make their own way. The adults are all synchronized and all fly off together after breeding season leaving the young behind. The young will fly the nest only a few days later and find the sea usually in dark hours to avoid predators from catching them.
An Interesting Fact You Didn’t Know Before Reading This!!!!
They are very long-lived birds usually living for around 20 years.