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Saturday, 20 May 2017

Puffin

ANATOMY

The puffin's scientific name, fratercula, came from the Latin for ‘little brother’ because their plumage resembled monk’s robes.

The puffin stands only 12in tall but can dive 300ft for food and endure eight months a year out at sea.

Their short wings are adapted for swimming with a flying technique under water.

A puffin weighs about the same as a can of Coke.


BEHAVIOR 

Adult pairs appear to kiss, rubbing their beaks together in behaviour known as ‘billing’.

They nest in burrows in the ground. The males dig the burrow using their bill and feet to push the soil out behind them.

Puffins often use existing burrows made by rabbits.

The puffin pairs for life, returning to land in the spring and use the same burrows year after year.

Adults often dig out a separate tunnel in their burrow to use as a lavatory.

Although the puffins are vocal at their breeding colonies, they are silent at sea.


LIFE

A baby Puffin is called a Puffling, and both parents take turns incubating the egg before it hatches.

The young never see their parents. They stay in the burrow for five days before leaving home in the night to avoid predators.

A young puffin spends its first three years at sea before setting foot on land.

The puffin usually lives for 25 to 30 years.

RELATIONSHIP WITH HUMANS

Puffin is regarded as a delicacy in Iceland. It has a rich, gamey taste similar to liver.

Puffins are known as ‘clowns of the sea’ and ‘sea parrots’.


There are at least eight islands worldwide named after the puffin.

Source Daily Mail

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