Horned Puffin Life History


Habitat OceansBreeds on rocky islands in cliff crevices and among boulders, rarely in ground burrows. Winters at sea.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Cliff

Nesting Facts
Condition at Hatching:Covered in down, can walk, but stays in nest.
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Behavior Surface DiveDives underwater to capture prey, using its wings to swim.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernThere 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. Back to top


Kushlan, J. A., M. J. Steinkamp, K. C. Parsons, J. Capp, M. A. Cruz, M. Coulter, I. Davidson, L. Dickson, N. Edelson, R. Elliott, R. M. Erwin, S. Hatch, S. Kress, R. Milko, S. Miller, K. Mills, R. Paul, R. Phillips, J. E. Saliva, W. Sydeman, J. Trapp, J. Wheeler and K. Wohl (2002). Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American waterbird conservation plan, version 1. Washington, DC, USA.

Piatt, John F. and Alexander S. Kitaysky. (2002). Horned Puffin (Fratercula corniculata), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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