• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer

Horned Puffin

Fratercula corniculata ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: ALCIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A striking seabird, the Horned Puffin nests in colonies on islands and coastlines of Alaska. It spends most of the year on the high seas of the northern Pacific.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
15 in
38 cm
Weight
17–22.9 oz
483–648 g
Other Names
  • Macareux cornu (French)

Cool Facts

  • The Horned Puffin carries small fish crosswise in its bill and delivers them to its nestlings. One individual was observed carrying 65 fish at once.
  • Unlike other puffins, which nest in burrows, the Horned Puffin typically nests in rock crevices and cliffs.

Habitat


Ocean

Breeds on rocky islands in cliff crevices and among boulders, rarely in ground burrows. Winters at sea.

Food


Fish

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Condition at Hatching
Covered in down, can walk, but stays in nest.
Nest Placement

Cliff

Behavior


Surface Dive

Dives underwater to capture prey, using its wings to swim.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

There is not a lot of information on Horned Puffin population trends. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a continental population of 1 million breeding birds, and lists it as a Species of Moderate Concern. The species rates an 11 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Horned Puffin is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds Watch List. Drift-net fisheries on the high seas killed tens of thousands of Horned Puffins until the practice was largely eliminated by the early 1990s. Coastal fisheries still cause some Horned Puffin deaths. All large breeding colonies of Horned Puffins in North America are located within national wildlife refuges in Alaska, which provides the birds protection.

Credits

Range Map Help

Horned Puffin Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings
×

Search

Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
×
bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell or give your email address to others.