- Firstly, Puffin serves as the collective common name for any species in the genus of Fratercula. Presently, due to scientific study, experts place a total of three birds in the remarkable genus.
- Further, the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson identified the first species in 1760. The name of the genus derives from the rather distinctive coloring. This occurs since that pattern is reminiscent of monastic robes.
- Sadly, however, in portions of its range, one species seems to be disappearing rapidly. Because of this unfortunate fact, the IUCN understandably currently lists the bird as Vulnerable.
- The decline of the Puffin appears to be because of a combination of several factors. First of all, it continues to be hunted by locals for its eggs, meat, and feathers. Also, habitat loss seems to be severely affecting it as well.
Puffin Physical Description
Most notably, all three forms of Puffin remain remarkably similar in physical appearance. Yet within each species, no noticeable sexual dimorphism appears. However, some slight variations do occur between species.
Due to this, the smaller variety averages about 13 in (32 cm) on length. It also has a wingspan measuring roughly 21 in (53 cm). In addition, the weight of the smaller type only averages around 13 oz (380 g).
But the other two Puffin species average about 15 in (38 cm) in length. Wingspans, however, differ between them, as well as weight. One averages a 23-in (58 cm) wingspan, and weighs 1.37 lb (620 g). But the other reaches 25 in (63.5 cm) and 1.72 lb (780 g).
Yet the overall color pattern of all three varieties remains basically the same among most individuals. The body develops rather stocky, and both the wings and the tails remain comparatively quite short. But the dazzling combination of black and white body, with reddish-orange feet and bill stand out.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Charadriiformes
- Family: Alcidae
- Genus: Fratercula
Puffin Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
First of all, taken collectively, the range of the three Puffins remains quite extensive. That’s because two species live in the North Pacific Ocean, but the other lives in the North Atlantic Ocean.
But, regardless of the particular region, all of them live and breed in similar habitats. This consists mainly of either burrows in the soil, or rock crevices. In addition, these almost always occur on coastal cliffs or offshore islands.
Further, like many related birds, mature adults of this animal mainly feed on zooplankton and small fish. However, the young are fed almost exclusively with a wide variety of small marine fish.
Also like other similar creatures, the Puffin nests and breeds in colonies. Typically the male builds the nest. But, once the female lays the eggs, both parents care for the eggs, and the young when they hatch.