Of course we can’t have a site called the Fuzzy Puffin without an article about puffins. If you aren’t very familiar with these funny little birds, know that they’re known as “sea clowns” for darned good reason.
Read on to discover some very fun facts about these fuzzy little puffers!
20. Their Babies are Vicious
Seriously. If you ever happen upon a baby puffin, it is best that you leave it alone. They are known to be finger biters and many Icelanders no longer have some fingers as a result! You’d never expect something called a “puffling” to be so dangerous, huh?
19. Sea Parrots
Sea parrots, sea clowns… these birds have quite a few different nicknames. The reason they’re called sea parrots is because of their colorful beaks. Those beaks fade to grey during the winter months. They save the colorful version to help them attract mates.
18. They’re Excellent Parents
The mamas aren’t the only ones that take care of the babies where puffins are concerned! They equally share parenting duties, including taking turns feeding the babies several times a day, for an average of 45 days. After this they abandon their children and leave them to fend for themselves. Sheesh.
17. They’re Also Excellent Hunters
No fish is safe from these agile swimmers! They’re not limited to just one fish at a time. After they catch one, they’ll continue to keep hunting for more. They can hold up to ten fish at one time thanks to special ridges located at the top of their beaks.
16. Predators Become Prey
Although puffins are excellent at hunting, they still have to watch out for themselves. They are often attacked by gulls, who tend to spend a lot of time around puffin colonies trying to capture chicks or steal fish.
15. They Be Pirates!
Well, kind of. Puffins spend the vast majority of their entire lives at sea even though they can only stay underwater for about 20 or 30 seconds before needing to come back up for air. The amazing thing is that they can dive almost 200 feet deep.
14. Other Names for Puffins
Puffins are known by a wide variety of fun names, depending on who is doing the talking. Some of those names include lunde or lundi, lundehund and Tammie Norrie.
13. Strong Feathered
Even though puffins have bulky little bodies, they are surprisingly fast in the air. They flap their wings up to 400 times each minute to achieve speeds of almost 50 miles per hour!
12. Only One Baby
Although most other birds have multiple babies, puffins have only one each year. It is pretty rare to see a baby puffin since they’re usually safely tucked away inside of a burrow.
11. Northern Birds
If you’d like to see a puffin in real life, you’ll need to head to the northern hemisphere. That’s because they’re only found there, and 60% of the entire puffin population resides near Iceland.