Tufted puffins typically select islands or cliffs that are relatively inaccessible to predators, close to productive waters, and high enough that they can take to the air successfully. Ideal habitat is steep but with a relatively soft soil substrate and grass for the creation of burrows.
Our puffin always have sprat, herring, mackerel, whitebait and squid. They also regularly get capelin and smelt, and sand eels in breeding season. They prefer whole sprats and sand eel.
Mostly small fish but also eat they also eat squids, octopuses, crabs, jellyfish and zooplankton.
They spend the majority of their lives at sea, returning to land only for breeding. Thought to be monogamous, they may return to the same nest each year.
Puffins nest in large colonies on seaside and island cliffs, usually laying only one egg in a burrow dug 1-2m. Male and female tufted puffins grow long yellow tufts either side of their head, as well as developing white eye patches and a green bill during their breeding season. Courtship occurs through sky pointing, strutting, and billing.
Lack of food driven by climate change and increasing ocean temperatures. Incidental capture by fisheries, predation by introduced species and human disturbance.
This species is classified as being of Least Concern. They are not considered endangered, but numbers are much lower today than they once were. Globally, there are no specific conservation efforts, but the puffins are found in places where there are protected zones.
- Latin Name: Fratercula cirrhata
- Class: Birds
- Order: Charadriiformes
- Family: Alcidae
- Conservation Status: Least Concern
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