- ORDER: Charadriiformes
- FAMILY: Alcidae
Tufted Puffins dress up for breeding season with impressively long, pale yellow head plumes. Red-rimmed eyes and an immense red bill offset a bright white face. In the nonbreeding season, they have a gray face, only a hint of plumes, and an orange-and-gray bill. Most of the year they live at sea, from subtropical Pacific waters up to the Arctic Ocean. Young birds may live entirely on the open ocean, returning to land only when they are 3 years old to breed on the nesting cliff where they hatched.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Tufted Puffins spend most of their lives on the open ocean far from shore. The best way to see them is to take a boat ride to nesting islands off the coast from central California to Alaska. It is sometimes possible to see Tufted Puffins from shore, though they tend to be well offshore, so a spotting scope is useful to enjoy their beautiful plumage to best advantage.
- Frailecillo Coletudo (Spanish)
- Macareux huppé (French)
- Cool Facts
- The Tufted Puffin nests mostly in deep burrows that it digs into cliff edges and slopes. These burrows can be more than 1.5 meters (5 feet) deep.
- The Tufted Puffin can capture and hold multiple small fish crosswise in its bill, routinely 5 to 20 fish at a time, for delivery to chicks at the nest. Adults eat their own food while still under water.
- The oldest recorded Tufted Puffin was at least 6 years old when it was found in Alaska, the same state where it had been banded.