Ready for the lowdown one one of nature’s most fascinating birds? Then check out our ten puffin facts!

 

Top ten puffin facts

1. Nicknamed “sea parrots” – and sometimes “clowns of the sea“! – Atlantic puffins have black and white feathers and a large parrot-like beak. They are small seabirds measuring around 25cm in length.

2. Puffins spend most of their lives out at sea, resting on the waves when not swimming. Their range spans the eastern coast of Canada and the United States to the western coast of Europe.

3. A puffin’s beak (or bill) changes colour during the year. In winter, the beak has a dull grey colour, but in spring it blooms with an outrageous orange! It’s thought that the bright colour helps puffins assess potential mates.

4. Puffins are carnivores and live off small fish such as herring, hake and sand eels.

5. Puffins are fab flyers, flapping their wings up to 400 times a minute and speeding through the air at up to 88km an hour. Wow!

6. What’s more, these brilliant birds are great swimmers, too! Using their webbed feet as a rudder, puffins can dive down 60m under water in search of their favourite fish.

7. In spring and summer, thousands of puffins gather in colonies on the coasts and islands of the North Atlantic Ocean to breed. They usually pair up with the same partner as previous years – some may have been together for 20 years!

8. When starting a puffin family, our feathered friends dig out a burrow using their sharp claws and beak, usually in a grassy bank or rocky crevice. At the back of their burrow home, they build a nest lined with feathers and grass where the female lays her egg. Both parents take it in turn to incubate the egg for the next 36-45 days before the baby “puffling” hatches!

9. In the wild, these winged wonders live for around 20 years. Their main predators are hungry gulls, which can snatch puffins mid-flight or swoop down and scoop their tasty treat from the ground – so they need to keep alert!

10. Although puffins are not classed as an endangered species, populations in some places are in decline. The main threats are overfishing, which can lead to a shortage of food for puffins, and pollution – particularly oil spills. Not only does the oil make these beautiful birds sick, it destroys their waterproof feathers, essential for their survival.

puffin facts

Has our puffin facts inspired you to check out the super seabirds for yourself? Below are some of the UK and Ireland’s puffin hot spots – venture over between March and July to witness some serious puffin power!

Scotland
– St Kilda
– Craigleith Island
– Isle of May National Nature Reserve
– Orkney Islands
– John O’Groats (surrounding coastline)
– Cape Wrath
– Fair Isle
– Shetland Islands
– Staffa Island
– Inner Hebrides

Wales
– Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire
– Skokholm Island
– South Stack, Anglesey

England
– The Farne Islands, Northumberland
– Coquet Island, Northumberland
– Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshire
– South Stack, Anglesey

Channel Islands
– Burhou, Channel Islands
– Herm (east/south coast)

Northern Ireland
– Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

Ireland
– Great Saltee
– Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
– Horn Head, County Donegal
– Puffin Island, County Kerry

Photos: Getty Images UK

Enjoyed our puffin facts? Let us know which was your favourite by leaving a comment below!

Likes

LEAVE A COMMENT

THANK YOU

While you wait for it to be checked and approved why not to add a pre-selected message and a cool badge

WELL DONE,
YOUR COMMENT
HAS BEEN ADDED!

COMMENTS

  • victor1234

    cool.

  • Frankie

    LOL cool

  • lole

    lole

  • ab

    cool

  • IlluminatiTriforce6

    This helped me a lot when I typed my report about Puffins! Thanks!

  • Maxim

    You guys Fuk

  • Maxim

    Thank you

  • ariana223

    love it

  • PuffinLoverCanada

    Lots of puffins in Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada

  • dolphinlover123

    thanks for helping me! this was my homework!

  • Diamond ore

    Good I have to do a project on Scotland Id give it 100 100

  • PuffinPower

    Cool!

  • Poohead

    Lol

  • Dinokewl

    I <3 Puffins :3

  • Harleigh

    Cool photos

  • Mills

    Hi

  • Puffinlover22

    MINDBLOWN OVER WHAT PUFFINS CAN DO. ITS SO CRAZYYYYYYYYY

  • Puffinlover22

    i really enjoyed learning about puffins. gonna show it to my friends.

  • jkhghjgadfvjuhyfgJ

    I love puffin they rock

  • dhieuw

    ythju9goQAEGHWIUAEHRAERWIOGHOWRHTIW

  • abcdefghijklmpqr

    f rthbghjnhjnuyh

  • abcdefghijklmpqr

    nbgf bf ,jh hfng4jvserhf fnjk

  • dhieuw

    HAKTTTTTTTTTTTTTTJOAEIOURRRRRRRRRRg

  • abcdefghijklmpqr

    p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p pp p p p p p p pp p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p puffins

  • dhieuw

    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZXXXXXXXXXXXCCCCCCCCCCCCCCDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  • dhieuw

    QWERTTYUUIIOOPASDDFGGHHJKLZXCVVBMNM

  • abcdefghijklmpqr

    iiiiiiiiiiiii llllllooooovvvvvvvvveeeeee pppppppopuuuuuuffffff ffffffffiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnsssssss ................................................................................................................................................

  • dhieuw

    gggggggiwufveDFH

  • blake

    puffins are cool

  • sdfhk

    cool

  • Cameil parham -119

    Nice

  • Cameil parham -119

    Aka the fact that I read was

  • Cameil parham -119

    The fact that I have read is so

  • Demarius

    Cccccccccccccooooooooooooooolllllllllllll

  • Demarius

    Cool

  • superwolfycat

    wow it helped me a lot thanks

  • superwolfycat

    thanks for the facts my homework is done

  • jenny201

    this rally helped thank you

  • Korben

    This is so cool thanks!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andy pearson

    Epic

  • cholut

    thos facts about puffins are unbleavble

  • lon

    this is cool

  • lon

    oh my god I hate it

  • analiese

    these facts are amazingly cool

  • Hook

    mind blow I did not know a quarter of these facts

  • Hook

    Mind Blow

  • Hook

    Puffins are amazing! Thank you for writing all of these ten great facts, theyre awesome !!!

  • Suzanna

    Thank you for all the information about puffins, it really helped me.

  • ney

    were is a life cycle ...... helppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

  • Hannha105

    Cool

  • Hannah

    Thank you for the information about the animals and the other things.You are the best website ever since well, ever.

  • edgar

    this is awesome

  • bertie

    i love amimls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dogbane at

    I love puffins

  • Dogbane at

    I like puffins so much

  • roseabell

    thanks for helping me learn more about puffins! *****

  • DarkFoxy

    Amazing, there cute and i can find this Information on my Schools project!!! YEEAAHHHHHHHHH!!!

  • Nicolette

    I would really loooooooooooooove to see puffins but when Im on holiday, Ive never seen them!

  • Loocas

    There very cute

  • raya

    I LOVE PUFFINS

  • puffins

    i love puffins!!!!!

  • jeffjeff111

    wow!!!!

  • joshhp

    cool

  • nally

    wow

  • puffin padington

    This is brilliant! I love puffins more than ever:-)

  • nikee

    Cool

  • Corky singer 552

    Thanks for ur help on my homework

  • Idaho

    Cool

  • browntrumpetzebrafish

    I like any type of bird but I LOVE puffins and knowing these amazing facts make me love them even more!!!

  • Marija

    Puffins are such cute animals, cooo facts NG kids

  • emmy1213

    I love puffins! Im doing a project and this website helped a lot. I went to see puffins on Skomer Island and they are so cute!

  • Nadezhda

    Cool

  • Blop

    Puffins are cool

  • wildlifegeographyforkids

    AMAZING LOLZZ

  • Boberylittletrain

    I love puffins. thanks, this sites wonderful

  • TomSawyer

    It was so helpful. It helped me on my report. they are cute

  • TomSawyer

    It was so helpful. I got all the inphormation I needed about Puffins.

  • sniperandthewiffin

    EPIC!!!! Once again I love puffins! I just cant get enough!!! Thanks a bunch, Sally and peeps xx

  • andrew123

    puffens are cool and they are cute

  • Niamh 123

    im doing a project on puffins and this website helped alot

  • AbigailCute

    I love your facts about puffins.

  • PALPITINE

    I like puffins

  • amy

    yes. now i know about puffins. i love your website.

  • plop

    alsome

  • Baud

    I Loy puffin

  • awesome_tomboy

    Thanks sooooo much I needed this for giving out feedback to my fourth grade students. Im a sixth grader.

  • Emma

    This site helped me to do the rest of my school work

  • puffy

    i think this is amazing i never know so much about puffins

  • puffinlover

    They are amazing birds

  • lilia

    cool

  • Puppy

    So so cute

  • Maisie

    I love puffins. The other day I won the gloustershire nature quiz finals and the trophy was a puffin!

  • dobby

    this website was very helpful thanks

  • Lennon

    Sick

  • Shanzie

    I just received the magazine in the post .

  • Shanzie

    Cool puffin facts

Sky Thieves

More Like Birds

Birds

Meet the penguins of the Falkland Islands!

Join us on an adventure to the Falkland Islands to meet five fab species of penguin!
Birds

Ostrich facts!

Get the lowdown on the world’s biggest bird!
Birds

Birds Bounce Back in the Amazing Azores!

NG KiDS heads to the Azores to meet a unique winged wonder….
Birds

Scientists discover birdie tap dance that’s invisible to the naked eye

The behaviour was picked up by slow-motion cameras