Atlantic Puffin

Fratercula arctica




Auks, Murres and Puffins (Alcidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with brown or lavender spots

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

39 - 45

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In loose soil 2-4 feet deep at tops of cliffs or on islands.

Nest Material:

Feathers, leaves and grass.





Atlantic Puffin: Medium-sized seabird with black upperparts, white underparts, white face, and large, parrot-like, orange and gray bill. Eyes surrounded by orange and black markings; legs and feet are bright orange. Sexes are similar. Winter adult has gray face and duller bill. Juvenile resembles winter adult but has smaller bill.

Range and Habitat

Atlantic Puffin: Occurs in and around the north Atlantic. Breeds in coastal regions of northeastern Canada and coastal Greenland. Disperses in winter over open ocean, from North Carolina reaching as far south as the Azores and Canary Islands. During summer, frequents rocky cliffs of the north Atlantic and northern Europe.

Breeding and Nesting

Atlantic Puffin: One white round egg, sometimes with brown or lavender spots, is laid in a nest, usually in a burrow lined with grass, feathers, seaweed, and leaves, and built at top of a cliff or on an island. Incubation ranges from 39 to 45 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Atlantic Puffin: Eats small fish, mollusks, and crustaceans; forages by diving from the surface and swimming underwater with wings.


Atlantic Puffin: Call is a deep "arrr-uh."

Similar Species

Atlantic Puffin: Razorbill has black bill, hood, legs, and feet, lacks black collar, and has white trailing edge on wings.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X