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Tufted Puffin

Silhouette AuksAuks
Tufted PuffinFratercula cirrhata
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Alcidae

Basic Description

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
image of range map for Tufted Puffin
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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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.

Other Names

  • Frailecillo Coletudo (Spanish)
  • Macareux hupp√© (French)
  • Cool Facts