NextAnimal ListPreviousAnimal Profiles
Bird. Cousins of the penguin, Atlantic puffins are true seabirds and spend most of their time swimming, diving, and feeding at sea. Puffins swallow their food underwater, but they can carry up to 30 small fish at once when bringing food home to their young. Thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of puffins nest together in large colonies. Each pair of puffins digs a burrow about 90 cm (3 ft) long into a soft slope near the sea. The male builds a nest in the burrow, and the female lays one egg in it. During the winter, puffins live out on the ocean, not returning to land until the next breeding season.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Fratercula arctica 20 years
Carnivore. Fish, crustaceans, squid, and marine worms.
Predators and Threats
Mink, foxes, great black-backed gulls, and humans. Herring gulls will take puffin eggs and chicks from their nesting burrow.
North Atlantic Ocean; Iceland, Norway, the Faeroe Islands, British Isles, Northern U.S., and eastern Canada.