(Note: The rhinoceros auklet is genetically a puffin, but is more frequently classified with auks.) It is estimated that more than 4,000 puffins nest in Coastal Maine in the summers. The volcanic archipelago of islands is home to around 1.1. million puffins and visiting in the summer is bound to turn up countless sightings. Just as the terrain makes it difficult for four-footed beasts to get close to the puffins, it’s hard for two-footed viewers to approach them as well. Learn when puffins breed, what they eat and the best places to see them in the UK in our expert puffin guide. It was a fascinating experience to watch these unique birds flying around. Puffins are fun, attractive birds, but they can be incredibly elusive for birders who hope to add them to a life list. I was lucky enough to see puffins on the Atlantic coast at the Witless Bay breeding grounds when I visited Newfoundland a few years ago. Share on Facebook; Share on Twitter; Share on Whatsapp ; Share on Reddit; Email to a friend; This competition is now closed. I’ve learned such a lot and am still learning. Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Where are puffins found in Maine? Voted up and Socially Shared. Rathlin Island is Northern Islands largest seabird colony and has nearly a thousand puffins. To have the best chance of seeing puffins visit their colonies from late May until early August. Nobody knows exactly how many Atlantic puffins there are in the world, but most estimates are over 12 million. Found in the North Pacific and North Atlantic they are a small little bird that spends a lot of time at sea. Puffins became familiar to me as a child as Penguin books ran a children s imprint called 'Puffin books' and used the bird as the logo. Puffins spend May through September in rookeries along the coast, nesting in dirt burrows or in notches in the rocky coast. Knowing where to find these small auks at different times of the year can help birders see them in the wild, and captive puffins are also great for intimate observation and bird photography. Puffins are Scotland's most sought-after seabird due to their strikingly coloured beak, trademark waddling gait and unique behaviour - and spotting them in Scotland is easier than you might think. In Scotland, these colourful seabirds are called ‘Tammie Norries’. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. For most of the year, Atlantic puffins live on the open ocean, with a range spanning from the eastern coast of Canada and the northern United States to the western coast of Europe and northern Russia. The most striking difference between Tufted Puffins and the other species is that their bodies are completely black, with the only white area being on the face. All auks have round bodies, short tails and small wings. There are three widely known puffin species: the Atlantic puffin, horned puffin, and tufted puffin. Mama and daddy puffins take turns feeding the baby (it’s called a “puffling”, which might be my new favorite word) and are civilized enough to bring whole fish back instead of regurgitating it like other birds. Facilities within the birds' natural ranges are more likely to feature puffins in greater numbers, but they are easily found at zoos and aquariums far from the coasts and rocky islands where puffins roam free. Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on May 30, 2012: An extremely well-written hub on cute birds! Thanks for SHARING. The Atlantic Puffins are found exclusively in the North Atlantic Ocean. Island of Staffa is good for puffins. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS Alaska Image Library--DI-AMNWR-0438) [Public domain], via W, By Boylan, Mike, USFWS (USFWS Alaska Image Library--slide 0002774) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Co. All puffins are members of the Auk group of birds. Látrabjarg is found in the north-west of Iceland, an area known as the Westfjords. The location of Puffins depends on the kind of Puffin. While not every facility will include a puffin exhibit and different puffin species are found in different parks, exceptional facilities that are home to puffins include the following: These are just a few zoos and aquariums with well-known, attractive puffin exhibits; many other zoos and aquariums worldwide are also home to these popular birds. Many puffin visits require you to get over your seasickness and buckle up for an hour or so on a … While none of them are threatened or endangered, they can be difficult to see in the wild. Puffins tend to … Some have breeding grounds as far south as the Farallon Islands in San Francisco Bay. It feels very rewarding. Many companies offer trips to the islands to see these birds. Thanks for stopping by! 85% of Horned Puffins have breeding grounds along western coasts of North America with the largest concentration in Alaska. In winter, likely to be on ocean waters far out of sight of land. Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 29, 2012: I haven't ever lived where I can see Puffins, but they are adorable. Its breeding grounds are in the same range as the Tufted Puffin. Among the best places to see puffins in Newfoundland are the four islands that make up the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve near the Avalon Peninsula. Puffins are carnivores and live off small fish such as herring, hake and sand eels. Elliston Point, Newfoundland. Lundey is synonymous with the word ‘Puffin’ in Iceland. Puffin Colonies and Breeding Atlantic puffins land on North Atlantic seacoasts and islands to form breeding colonies each spring and summer. As with the Horned Puffins, they mainly breed on islands off the coast; for instance, Tatoosh Island off Washington and Haystack Rock off Cannon Beach in Oregon both have large Tufted Puffin colonies. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer. Melissa Mayntz has been a birder and wild bird enthusiast for 30+ years. The largest colony, Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, has over 500,000 adult puffins. They are the biggest of the puffins, being about 15 inches tall and weighing around 1.7 pounds. Below are 2 maps showing breeding grounds for puffins, the first for the Atlantic Puffin and the second for all 3 of the others. These cliffs are the western-most point of the country and are home to millions of birds. Tufted Puffins share habitat with the Horned Puffin, but do not go as far north and go further south. What’s more, these brilliant birds are great swimmers, too! They are generally better at swimming than they are at flying. How could you not adore them But, it was not to be since I soon discovered winter birds they are not. The colony of Atlantic puffins found on the Westman Islands, just off the south coast of Iceland, is the largest in the entire world. This is an awesome hub and very interesting. Puffins are always to be found close to or on the sea. Puffins set up their summer homes on rocky islands along the coast, away from potential land predators. They also have long sandy coloured tufts that stretch back on either side of their heads, giving the appearance of having hair and adding to their comical look. While a captive bird does not count on a life list, seeing puffins in zoos, aquariums, and similar facilities can provide wonderful opportunities to observe these birds at close range without the time, expense, and uncertainty of trying to find wild puffins. It is famous because it is home to one of the stars of Iceland which is the Puffin. 5. There are estimated to be around 1 million - 1.25 million Rhinoceros Auklets in the world. The three generally recognised types of puffin are: There is also a fourth bird that many ornithologists now consider to be a puffin, although it does not have the name. The next highest population of Horned Puffins breed in Eastern Siberia and smaller numbers have breeding grounds in British Columbia. I’ve only ever seen the Atlantic puffins in the wild. Useful & Interesting. In some places where the terrain is too rocky for burrows, Atlantic Puffins also use rock crevices. This year on Hubpage has been so great. Your daughter did a great job with taking some pics of puffins. There are also smaller Atlantic Puffin breeding grounds in Brittany in France and of the West Coast of Ireland. Below is a list of places where Puffins can be found: Lundey – Aukrey. The puffins’ home on Noss are usually found in remote areas of Scotland which are difficult to get close to, so if you’re hoping to see them you might like to think about taking a decent pair of binoculars with you – unless you visit the Scottish Seabird Centre which I’ll cover next. Without a doubt the Puffin is one of the cutest birds in the world. These puffinries (yep, a collection of puffin homes is actually called a puffinry!) The Farne Islands would be a great place to see puffins, and I agree with you on that there’s definitely something magical about puffins. Very similar to the famous Atlantic Puffin, but with different bill colors and a longer fleshy "horn" above each eye. Icelandic word for puffin is “lundi”. Most colonies are found on islands without terrestrial predators. My article Where to Find Puffins in Scotland gives more details on the most accessible puffin grounds in Scotland. Do puffins beaks fall off? They are such lovely birds. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. The main predators of the Horned Puffin are the Arctic fox, the red fox and some rats. These are pelagic birds and spend much of their lives far out to sea, but during the breeding season, they establish colonies on rocky cliffs, offshore islands, and similar habitats that provide sufficient space for nests and burrows with convenient access to quality fishing. Thanks for writing this. The best time to see them is between April and August so your timing is good. What a brilliant discourse on the cute creatures. These are pelagic seabirds that feed primarily by diving in the water. I was very fortunate to see Puffins, when I took a trip to the Farne Islands several years ago, it was absolutely magical. For a more extensive list of breeding grounds in Scotland see my article Where To Find Puffins In Scotland. Occasionally some are found as far south as Washington and more rarely in Oregon. Wow! The best place to see puffins is at the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve – also a great place to see hundreds of other seabirds. Your description of 4 species of puffins are detailed and precise! Dilip Chandra from India on May 29, 2012: Very informative hub and the bird is simply cute. Lundey is an island off the coast of Reykjavik. Most importantly, though you may hear puffins give a kind of deep yet nervous laugh, this does not give them a sense of humour. As with the Horned Puffins, they mainly breed on islands off the coast; for instance, Tatoosh Island off Washington and Haystack Rock off Cannon Beach in Oregon both have large Tufted Puffin colonies. Whether in the wild or in captivity, it is always fun to watch these fascinating birds. Other members of this group are the guillemot and the razorbill. You are unlikely to see baby puffins, known as pufflings, because in most colonies they will be tucked away in nests. View this post on Instagram While Atlantic Puffin breeding colonies are mostly in Iceland (60% of the world’s population) they are also found in Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Norway and Greenland. In particular the Atlantic Puffins that breed on rocky islands off the coast of Maine, in north-eastern USA, make their nests in this way. Like the Atlantic and Tufted Puffins, it makes its nest in a burrow. I’m glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks again. Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 31, 2012: The tufted puffin does look strange doesn’t it? In Europe, they nest south to the Brittany Coast of France, northwards to Iceland, Greenland, and Northern Russia. Currently, there are an estimated 250,000 puffins on St. Kilda. The following are some of the best sites, either in terms of numbers or accessibility or both. The numbers have fallen dramatically since the 1970s, possibly by as much as 80%. A visit in May will also coincide with the beautiful display of bluebells and red campion flowers across the island. Most Horned Puffins do not nest in burrows, but in crevices in rocks. By Alan D. Wilson (naturespicsonline.com ([1])) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b. They breed in colonies on islands with steep, grassy slopes or on cliff tops. Puffins are so adorable and cute in a quirky kind of way. Visiting those breeding areas is tricky, however, and should be done only in areas authorized for wildlife viewing and without endangering or stressing nesting birds or their broods. Atlantic Puffins do stray a little from the Atlantic, but only as far as the North Sea, which is the sea between the UK and Europe. Puffins spend most of their lives at sea, only landing on coastal islands in spring and summer to form breeding colonies. 6. This is the: All puffins live most of their lives far out at sea, only coming ashore during the breeding season. Congrats on achieving an incredible feat of 100 hubs and completing one year. Were do puffins live? The maps give an idea of the range of each puffin, and show where the largest concentration of birds can be found. Using their webbed feet as a rudder, puffins can dive down 60m under water in search of their favourite fish. Because people on the Westman Islands have hunted puffins until very recently the puffins there are wary, but the puffins at the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the northwest of Iceland are very tame and it’s possible to get close to them. By the late 1800's human activity had destroyed the Puffin nesting colony. Western Spitsbergen, Lovund Island and Anda Island all have large puffin colonies. Thanks so much for your kind comment. Puffins are sociable when on land, and look to each other to determine the safety of their environment. The puffin in the first photo, and in the one on the right, used to be called the Common Puffin, but now it’s more often known as the Atlantic Puffin. These seabirds with their gaudy bills, pudgy bodies, and comical expressions are popular residents of marine parks as well. Coastal communities and island dwellers with few natural resources at their disposal made good use of the seafood they found on their cliffs and shores. To see puffins on the eastern coast of the United States, travelers must head up to Maine, where the offshore islands welcome thousands of feathery friends come June. If you live anywhere along a North Atlantic coastline, whether on the American or European side, you probably think a puffin is a black and white bird with an orange beak that looks like this: If on the other hand, you live anywhere along a North Pacific coastline, you probably think a puffin is a black and white bird with a yellow and orange beak that looks like this: By U.S. The largest colonies are on islands of Northern Norway. Our 3 week vacation set for Amsterdam and Scotland, I made it a priority to find out where to see Puffins in Scotland. In the North Atlantic they can be found in Iceland, Ireland, the Shetlands, Newfoundland and as far south as Maine and even New York. Tufted Puffins share habitat with the Horned Puffin, but do not go as far north and go further south. Because puffins are seabirds and can be difficult to find when they are outside their nesting colonies, it can be easier to find them in captivity. voted up and across! Machias Seal Island is the only spot in Maine where visitors can lands and see wild puffins.