Bird of the North: Puffins By Mrs. Smith

The Arctic is the northern most part of planet Earth. There are more than 60 bird species that can live in the cold climate of the arctic and the puffin is one of them. There are three different types of puffins Atlantic, horned, and tufted that live in three different areas in the Arctic. They live in the southern Arctic Ocean, northern Atlantic Ocean, and southern Arctic Ocean. Although it seems strange puffins spend most of their time living in the open water of the Arctic. That means you can usually find puffins swimming or flying over the water.

Puffins and their habitat.

Like the penguin, puffins have a very distinct appearance. The closer they get to mating season, the puffins colors begin to change and become brighter to help them attract a mate. Puffins are very small birds, only growing to the maximum 15 inches tall and weighing only 32 ounces (2 pounds). Puffins have short legs with webbed feet that help them when swimming in the ocean.

An arctic puffin flying through the air.

Puffins love to eat seafood. Their favorite foods are small fish, for example, herring, sand eels, and capelins. Adult puffins also like to eat crabs, squid, see urchins, and worms. To hunt for their food, puffins dive into the ocean from the air to catch their prey underwater. It may seem funny, but puffins even eat their meals underneath the water.

A puffins favorite snacks.

Even though puffins are predators to many animals, they themselves are hunted by many different creatures. Rats, foxes, great black-backed gulls, and snowy owls are predators of the puffin. Puffins also have humans for predators. Many many years ago they were hunted by people living in the Arctic. There are also human forces that effect the puffins food supply and harm their habitat, such as, pollution, fishing, and the oil business.

A puffins worst nightmare.

Puffin Fun Facts

A long time ago people believed that puffins were a combination of fish and bird.

Some scientists think puffins can live longer than 20 years.

Puffin babies are called chicks.

Puffins can hold their breath underwater from 20 to 30 seconds.


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