Posts Tagged: Atlantic Puffin

Common Puffin

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The Atlantic Puffin is also known as the Common Puffin but there is nothing common about this little bird.  They are also known as Sea Parrots because of their colorful breeding colors. Atlantic Puffin are incredible fliers despite their short wing span. Because of their short wingspan they have to flap their wings 3-400 times a minute but can fly up to 55 Miles per hour! They are also excellent swimmers and can dive to around 60 meters and use their wings to fly through the water. I will never tire of watching these beautiful, colorful creatures but it takes effort and lots of planning to photograph them on Machias Seal Island.

A Common Puffin in breeding colors in flight with wings out approaching the camera.

Atlantic Puffin

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Atlantic Puffins are pelagic for most of the year, spending their time alone in the cold open northern ocean a long way off shore.  They dig a burrow or tunnel on an island to lay their one solitary egg. Puffins only  come onto land to breed in colonies, usually with the same partner  in the same burrow, every spring and summer.  They bring fish back to the burrows to feed the little “puffling”.  The Atlantic Puffin are brightly colored only during breeding season and since breeding season is the only time they are visible it works out perfectly for photographers!