7 Puffin Facts

Puffins are no doubt really beautiful birds and are also known as the “SeaParrots”. However, just before winter sets in, they shed the outer bright orange bill, showing a noticeably a dull grey color on their beak.  Here are 7 interesting facts that you would like to know about these rocky shore dwellers:

Here is a picture of a Puffin that has shed its bright colored bills after breeding season.


1. Young Puffins spend at least the first two years of their life on water without setting foot onto land.

Researcher Stephen Kress said that “They can drink salt water and eat under waves too. Young Puffins are even more ocean going, spending at least the first two years of life on the water without ever stepping foot onto land.”

2. Puffins are generally 18 cm tall, and weigh 500 grams, similar to that of a can of soda. 

They hunt small fish such as sand eels, herring, shrimps, hake, and also eat zoo plankton and often crustaceans during winter. And can grasp 10-12 fishes during hunting sessions and for that reason they don’t have to swallow and return that swallowed food out to feed their chicks (i.e Regurgitate. Such as the way other birds do).

3.  They spend most of their lives at sea, and come on land only to breed.

Puffins only lay a single egg a year and just like the penguins, Puffin parents take turns keeping the egg warm and looking after their chick.


4. There are 4 different species of Puffins.

They are:

  •   Atlantic Puffin
  •   Tufted Puffin
  •   Rhinoceros Auklet
  •   Horned Puffin


5. Puffins are fast flyers flapping their wings about 400 times per minute.

A puffin can also dive to a depth of 200ft and remain underwater for 20 to 30 seconds. Flapping their wings just as they fly to swim underwater.

6. Puffins live around 20 years.

After 45 days the chick leaves it burrow and spends the rest of his life living for around 20 years.

7. 60 percent of the world’s Puffins breed in Iceland. 

Puffins tend to be vocal when in groups during breeding seasons, but at sea they remain silent.

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