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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Tufted Puffin

Fratercula cirrhata ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: ALCIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Tufted Puffin is a seabird of the open waters, islands, and coastal cliffs of the north Pacific. It is larger than other puffin species and distinctive in appearance, with a bold white "face-mask" and golden head plumes in the breeding season.

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Appearance

Ducklike
Ducklike
Typical Voice

Adult Description

Stocky, large-headed, dark seabird. Breeding adult all black except for white face and long golden plumes curling over back of head and neck. Bill large and red-orange, with a bright-orange yellow plate over the base. Nonbreeding adult has dark gray face with no head plumes or bill plate.

Immature Description

Resembles nonbreeding adult, with dusky eyes instead of yellow.

Range Map Help

Tufted Puffin Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

  • Breeding adult

    Tufted Puffin

    Breeding adult
    • © Brian Hix, Farallon Islands, California, August 2013
  • Breeding adult

    Tufted Puffin

    Breeding adult
  • Nonbreeding adult

    Tufted Puffin

    Nonbreeding adult
    • © Brian Sullivan, Monterrey Bay, California, August 2010
  • Breeding adult

    Tufted Puffin

    Breeding adult

Similar Species

  • Rhinoceros Auklet has dark face, different head plumes, a white belly, and a much smaller bill.
  • Horned Puffin has white underparts and lacks golden plumes in breeding season.