Animals / Types of Birds / Puffin - Not Penguin

Puffin - Not Penguin


puffin

 

The common or Atlantic puffin is a small auk, an animal resembling a duck and a penguin. They have large heads, a round body and an amazingly colorful striped bill. In the warm summer breeding season, they have a very colorful bright bill. In the winter, the bill can lose a little color and look dull as it sheds scales and shrinks a little while the face can even turn grayish.

 

 

artic puffin

 

With its beautiful bill, the common puffin artfully catches its food. Most puffins eat fish and shellfish and they can dive up to 200 ft (61 m) in search of prey. They can also carry many things at a time in their bill and this is useful as they need to carry food back to the nest for the young. Its bill and tongue are lined with little spikes that help it clamp down and hold on to slimy things. The puffin flies very fast, but cannot walk very well on land because of its short legs.

 

flying puffin

 

Besides the Atlantic species there are tufted and horned puffins, all residing in northern latitudes. Like the penguins, the top part of the puffin’s body is black and it has white underparts. A bird related to the puffin that is now extinct, the great auk, also looked like, and was flightless like a penguin.

Most puffins breed near the end of May in colonies. Their colonies are usually on islands or cliff tops. After the breeding, it is common for puffins to winter at sea, but some tend to migrate southward.

 

ireland puffin

 

 

 

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