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Atlantic Puffins (Fratercula
The Atlantic Puffin (formerly the Common Puffin)
is a small, pigeon-sized seabird which lives on the open ocean throughout
the majority of the year, breeding in colonies on northern seacoasts
and rocky islands from April to mid-August. Puffins lay one egg that
is incubated in turn by each adult for approximately 39-43 days. The
adults feed the chick fish for approximately 45 days, although that
period may be considerably longer depending on the quality of the fishing
resources nearby, after which time the puffling is large enough to
fledge (leave) the nest.
Puffins live at sea and are well adapted to this lifestyle.
They are excellent swimmers, using their wings to essentially ‘fly’ underwater
while using their feet to control direction. They hunt a variety of
small fish including herring, hake, capelin and sand lance. Puffins
do not come to land outside of the breeding season, flying, swimming
or riding the ocean surface throughout the year regardless of weather.
The Atlantic Puffin is the only species of puffin
found on the Atlantic coast. The other species of puffin, of which
there are three, occur only in the Pacific.
to the Atlantic Puffin: