Atlantic Puffins can fly as fast as 50 Miles Per Hour, but they can dive up to 200 feet underwater. Their wings become flippers and their feet become rudders. Puffins become like Penguins and “fly” through the water with their wings. I photographed this Atlantic Puffin landing with a battered foot on Machias Seal Island. I thought I remembered one of the University of New Brunswick researchers telling me the island is inaccessible to terrestrial predators, so I wondered how this Puffin got an injured foot. If you enlarge the image, you see that its right foot has a hole in the webbing and a claw is missing! The Black-Backed Gull is the only predator, and a Black-Backed Gull can catch a Puffin in flight mid-air!
So it is safer underwater for a Puffin!