Horned Puffin

Fratercula corniculata

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Auks, Murres and Puffins (Alcidae)

Code 4

HOPU

Code 6

FRACOR

ITIS

Egg Color:

White with brown and lavender spots



Number of Eggs:

1



Incubation Days:

40 - 42



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Location:

In burrow or on rocks.



Nest Material:

Lined with grass.



Migration:

Nonmigratory



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General

Horned Puffin: Medium-sized puffin with black upperparts and white underparts. Face is white with a black, fleshy horn above eye extending to top of head. Bill is triangular and massive during summer, when it is bright yellow with orange tip. Sexes are similar. Winter adult has gray face, smaller gray bill with dull orange tip, and lacks horns.

Range and Habitat

Horned Puffin: Found along the Pacific coast of North America. Breeds from northern Alaska south to the British Columbia border. Spends winters at sea south to Washington and Oregon; rarely to California. Preferred habitats include cold ocean waters, sea cliffs, and rocky or grass-covered islets and rocks.

Breeding and Nesting

Horned Puffin: One white egg with small dark spots is laid in a crevice or deep hole among boulders. Incubation ranges from 40 to 42 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Horned Puffin: Eats small fish and invertebrates. Forages by diving from the surface and swimming underwater; spines on tongue and in mouth act as hooks, better enabling capture of fish.

Vocalization

Horned Puffin: Generally silent. Utters harsh notes from its burrow.

Similar Species

Horned Puffin: Tufted Puffin has dark underparts and in breeding plumage has pale yellow plumes on head. Common and Thick-billed murres have entirely dark head, small, dark bill, and white trailing margin on inner wing.

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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.
HornsX
Paired contour feathers on top of the head of the bird.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X