Atlantic Puffin

Fratercula arctica

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Auks, Murres and Puffins (Alcidae)

Code 4

ATPU

Code 6

FRAARC

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable

The Atlantic Puffin has a fairly large global range, spanning up to 1 million square kilometers. This bird is native to countries that border the North Atlantic as well as waters off of northwestern Africa. This species is believed to have a large population but based on recent sharp declines at several breeding colonies and threats from climate change, pollution, and invasive predators, this species has been given an IUCN conservation rating of Vulnerable.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Atlantic Puffin: Medium 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. The only puffin nesting on the Atlantic Coast. Swift direct flight.

 

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.

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Atlantic Puffin SONGS AND CALLS

Atlantic Puffin VV1

Silent above ground, in breeding burrow makes a deep "arr-uh" sound similar to a chainsaw.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"arrr-uh"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Atlantic Puffins work very hard to fly fast—they flap their wings at 300-400 beats per minute to maintain flight.
  • It is the official bird of the Canadian province Newfoundland and Labrador. The genus name Fratercula means “little brother” or “friar” which may refer to its black and white dress.
  • They have a series of backward-pointing spines that project from the tongue and top of mouth and allow them to hold food in place while more is being caught. The record in Canada is 61 fish in one bird’s mouth.
  • A group of puffins has many collective nouns, including a "burrow", "circus", "colony", "improbability", and "puffinry" of puffins.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

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

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