posted: 04/29/14
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Allow me to introduce Myself: Puffins

Where You'll Most Likely Find Me: The North Atlantic Ocean

What I Like to Eat: Small fish and crustaceans. We also love saltwater.

Betcha Didn't Know This About Me: Some animals have one nickname. We are lucky enough to have two monikers: "sea parrots" and "clowns of the sea". Why these names, you ask? Take a good look at our bright colored beaks and feet, and you will get your answer.

Air and Sea: The Atlantic Puffins are the most common breed. We are fast fliers (traveling with speeds up to 55 miles per hour) and great swimmers and divers. We even can stay underwater up to sixty seconds. While swimming, we imitate the same flapping movements in the water as we do in the air. In fact, the majority of our lives are spent on the open waters.

Color Me Badd: The color of our beaks and feet fade to gray in the winter and brighten to the colorful orange you see in pictures of us during the spring. These vibrant colors help us attract our mates during the breeding months of April to August.

Appearance: Some people mistake us for penguins because of the black and white colors on our plumage, but we are not penguins. We are seabirds that grow to be about 10 inches tall.

Burrows: We form breeding colonies on land to grow our families with more than 60 percent of our population breeding on land in Iceland. We are a monogamous bunch. Young puffins find their mates between the ages of three and five years old and hold on to the same puffin throughout their lives. Many puffin couples return to the same spot on land to breed each year.

My Biggest Predators: Great Black-backed Gull in the water and on land, foxes and rats.

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