Facts about Puffins

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1. A Type of Bird
Puffins are a type of bird that is normally found in the sea. Puffins are associated to other species such as guillemonts. Puffins are easily identified by their glowing triangle beaks which are colored. Though puffins are not categorized as an endangered type of bird, they are extinct from the known areas where they should be in plenty. Puffins are also known to be a distinct type bird compared to other seabirds.

2. Puffins can Carry Food
Puffins are one of the few bird species that have the capability to carry or hold small fish using their bills. They have a rough tongue and a thorny palate that permit them to hold 10 to 12 fish at a go. Compared to other types of birds, Puffins can bring more food to their young ones than other birds that have to vomit in order to feed their young.

3. Puffins can fly
Unlike other birds that tend to fly a few feet above the sea level, Puffins can fly with speeds of up to 55 mph while maintaining an altitude of about 30 feet as they cruise.

4. Puffins are good swimmers
Apart from being fast, puffins are good swimmers known to take deep dives of up to 60 meters for two minutes. Puffins take deep dives with an aim of maximizing the amount of fish that they can catch for their chicks and for themselves. In the winter season, Puffins stay out in the sea for long periods before going back to the sea cliffs when it is warm. This is a phenomenon that has made it difficult for scientists to understand this type of bird.

5. Puffins are Social
Puffins are known to be social animals mainly seen on cliff tops in large groups that may have as much as two million birds. Apart from staying together on cliff tops, while feeding out in the sea, Puffins also form some kind of rafts that will ensure their protection from various hunters.

6. Puffins Lay Eggs
Puffins are regarded as a distinct type of bird because of their unique nature. For example, Puffins lay one egg in a year and normally with the same mate. Like penguins, both partners switch turns during the incubation stage of the egg and also while caring for the young.

7. Puffins exist in Four Species
Puffins are classified into four species. However, three types of Puffins are somewhat different from the others. The Horned and the Atlantic Puffins are similar except for the blue-grey triangular base of the Atlantic Puffin’s beak. While mating, the Tufted Puffin is characterized by the protrusion of straw-like feathers from the top. The final species called the rhinoceros auklet, is distinct from the others. It is characterized by a colored protrusion from the crown which resembles a rhino.

8. Puffins change Color
Puffins are known to have colors that are clearly seen during the different seasons of the year. During spring, which is their breeding season, Puffins’ feet become orange feet and before the winter season, their beaks take up a dull color.

9. Puffins are mainly Carnivores
Although Puffins are known to be omnivorous animals, their diet is mainly a carnivorous type of diet as it contains small fish accompanied with planktons especially during the winter season.

10. Status of Puffins Today
Though Puffins are mainly affected by pollution which has triggered a decrease in their population, the four species of Puffins are not considered as near extinction in the foreseeable future as they still inhabit a huge area in the Northern Hemisphere.

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