Atlantic Puffin

Family: Alcidae

Scientific Name: Fratercula arctica

Description: Atlantic Puffin is brightly colored yellow and rid striped beak. More drab in winter; beak becomes dark brown and cheeks become pale.

Distribution: During the winter they live on the open ocean in the Atlantic . During the breeding season, they nest off Newfoundland and Labrador, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, , Greenland , and other parts of Atlantic Canada.

Habitat: During the breeding season, these birds will nest on coastal cliffs and offshore islands. During migration and winter they live far out at sea.

Nesting: In summer they arrive in huge numbers at small number of islands off Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as in the Gulf of St. Lawrence . A single egg is laid in burrows dug by the birds themselves. These birds winter at sea.

Diet: They find their food by ‘flying’ under water with their wings. Atlantic Puffins take mainly small fish like capelin, and can carry up to a dozen at a time.

Interesting facts: Recently, the number of puffins breeding in Witless Bay, Newfoundland has declined; this may be a result of the capelin fishery; diminishing their food supply.

Contact

Ocean Sciences

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000