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Horned Puffin

Silhouette AuksAuks
Horned PuffinFratercula corniculata
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Alcidae

Basic Description

The Horned Puffin, a black-and-white seabird with a beautiful orange-and-yellow bill, is a Pacific species reminiscent of the clownlike Atlantic Puffin. Its "horns" are small fleshy spikes that extend above the eyes of breeding adults. Whereas other puffin species dig earthen burrows for their nests, Horned Puffins typically nest on cliffs. They dive 100 feet or more to chase small fish, bringing dozens at a time back to their nest held firmly in the bill. These hardy seabirds spend winters far from shore in the Pacific Ocean.

More ID Info
image of range map for Horned Puffin
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Finding Horned Puffins takes either luck or travel. The easiest way to see one is to visit their nesting grounds, such as St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands, where hundreds of birding tourists come each year to enjoy them. Lucky observers from California to British Columbia occasionally find them by scanning the Pacific Ocean for many hours during winter.

Other Names

  • Frailecillo Corniculado (Spanish)
  • Macareux cornu (French)
  • Cool Facts