Animals and Pets pictures
Search













Ads By Google


What are you looking for?
Animals Information
Animals Pictures
Animals Videos
I got here by mistake...



Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)



Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)
Family: Alcidae

The puffin's most striking feature is its large, brightly colored bill. Early sailors dubbed the puffin the "sea parrot" because of its stout body, short wings, and orange or red webbed feet, which are placed far back on its body. Males and females have the exact same markings. It's unknown whether this confuses the birds, but it certainly confuses bird-watchers. During the summer, puffins have a black back and neck with white on the sides of their head and on their breast. The puffin's white breast is so distinctive that one Inuit language refers to the puffin as katukh-puk, meaning "big white breast."



I. DESCRIPTION:
  • The puffin's most striking feature is its large, brightly colored bill.
  • Early sailors dubbed the puffin the "sea parrot" because of its stout body, short wings, and orange or red webbed feet, which are placed far back on its body.
  • Males and females have the exact same markings. It's unknown whether this confuses the birds, but it certainly confuses bird-watchers.
  • During the summer, puffins have a black back and neck with white on the sides of their head and on their breast. The puffin's white breast is so distinctive that one Inuit language refers to the puffin as katukh-puk, meaning "big white breast."
  • Tufted puffins get their name from the tufts of feathers that curl back from each side of their head. They have black bodies, white faces and bright orange feet.
  • The puffin's bill becomes larger and more colorful in the summer nesting season than in winter. It most likely plays a part in the male's sexual mating display.
  • Both sexes shed the bill's outer layer in late summer, leaving a smaller, drabber-colored bill. Their bodies are also less distinctively marked with white, but are usually dusky gray.
II. GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
  • Tufted puffins live and breed only on islands and rocky cliffs in the arctic water of the North Pacific. Aside from the breeding season, puffins never come to land; living on the wing and in the sea.
III. DIET:
  • Puffins dive and swim underwater to catch and eat mainly saltwater fish, such as smelts, sardines, herring and perch, which it carries crosswise in its bill, lining them up head-to-tail.
IV: LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
  • Puffins nest underground in huge colonies of hundreds of thousands of birds on island cliffs inaccessible to land predators.
  • Puffin chicks only come out when they are ready to fly away and leave the nest.
  • The birds use the sharp claws on their webbed feet to dig out burrows 3 to 4 feet deep into the steep hillsides or cliffs.
  • The birds arrive at the nesting site in early May. The female lays a single, whitish egg. The egg is incubated for 42 to 47 days by both parents, one on the nest, and one out at sea catching food. They switch places every 4 to 5 hours.
  • The chick arrives in July or early August, and remains in the burrow for next month or two while the parents take turns feeding it and standing watch.
  • The parents will keep the chick warm for the first five days, until its body is working properly, and it can keep itself warm. Then both adults leave to gather food for the chick.
  • Adults dive up to 200 feet, going after the same school of fish until they have a full crop of food.
  • The chicks go to the sea under cover of night. It is not known if they walk or fly.
  • The birds leave land in the fall and spend the winter in the northern Pacific Ocean, never coming near land.
  • Puffins become sexually active at the age of 4.
V. SPECIAL NOTES/ADAPTATIONS:
  • Puffins are built for swimming rather than flying; they use their wings as underwater oars, and their feet as rudders.
  • Tufted puffins are famous (or infamous) for stealing bait from fishermen's hooks both above and below the water.
  • Puffins are thriving in Alaska today, but are diminishing in the lower 48 states because of oil pollution, the destruction of breeding/nesting sites, and conflicts with mega-factory fishing enterprises.



Rate:  

Add To Google Bookmarks Add To Del.icio.us Add To digg Add To Yahoo My Web Add To Technorati Add To Stumble Upon Add To blinklist Add To reddit Add To Feed Me Links Add To Newsvine Add To Ma.gnolia Add To RawSugar Add To Squidoo Add To Spurl Add To Netvouz Add To Simpy Add To Co.mments Add To Scuttle

Add Feedback

Full Name: *

E-mail:
(The E-mail will not be published)
Title: *
Body:




* Required


Related Content