Puffin Facts!

We've got everything you could ever want to know about our cute feathered friends, puffins!



Ready for a sky-high adventure with our fab feathered friends? Then join National Geographic Kids as we check out one of nature's most fascinating birds in our 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 Partners

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!


Your Comments

ab
cool
IlluminatiTriforce6
This helped me a lot when I typed my report about Puffins! Thanks!
Maxim
Thank you
Maxim
You guys Fuk
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 I'd give it 100 100
PuffinPower
Cool!
Poohead
Lol
Dinokewl
I <3 Puffins :3
Harleigh
Cool photos
Mills
Hi
Puffinlover22
i really enjoyed learning about puffins. gonna show it to my friends.
Puffinlover22
MINDBLOWN OVER WHAT PUFFINS CAN DO. ITS SO CRAZYYYYYYYYY
jkhghjgadfvjuhyfgJ
I love puffin they rock
dhieuw
gggggggiwufveDFH
abcdefghijklmpqr
iiiiiiiiiiiii llllllooooovvvvvvvvveeeeee pppppppopuuuuuuffffff ffffffffiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnsssssss ................................................................................................................................................
dhieuw
QWERTTYUUIIOOPASDDFGGHHJKLZXCVVBMNM
dhieuw
PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZXXXXXXXXXXXCCCCCCCCCCCCCCDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
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
HAKTTTTTTTTTTTTTTJOAEIOURRRRRRRRRRg
abcdefghijklmpqr
nbgf bf ,jh hfng4jvserhf fnjk
abcdefghijklmpqr
f rthbghjnhjnuyh
dhieuw
ythju9goQAEGHWIUAEHRAERWIOGHOWRHTIW
blake
puffins are cool
sdfhk
cool
Cameil parham -119
Nice
Demarius
Cccccccccccccooooooooooooooolllllllllllll
Cameil parham -119
The fact that I have read is so
Cameil parham -119
Aka the fact that I read was
Demarius
Cool
superwolfycat
thanks for the facts my homework is done
superwolfycat
wow it helped me a lot thanks
jenny201
this rally helped thank you
Korben
This is so cool thanks!!!!!!!!!!!
Andy pearson
Epic
lon
oh my god I hate it
lon
this is cool
cholut
thos facts about puffins are unbleavble
analiese
these facts are amazingly cool
Hook
Puffins are amazing! Thank you for writing all of these ten great facts, they're awesome !!!
Hook
Mind Blow
Hook
mind blow I did not know a quarter of these facts
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 like puffins so much
Dogbane at
I love puffins
roseabell
thanks for helping me learn more about puffins! *****
DarkFoxy
Amazing, there cute and i can find this Information on my School's project!!! YEEAAHHHHHHHHH!!!
Nicolette
I would really loooooooooooooove to see puffins but when I'm on holiday, I've never seen them!
Loocas
There very cute
raya
I LOVE PUFFINS
puffins
i love puffins!!!!!
joshhp
cool
jeffjeff111
wow!!!!
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
Nadezhda
Cool
emmy1213
I love puffins! I'm doing a project and this website helped a lot. I went to see puffins on Skomer Island and they are so cute!
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
i'm 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.
puffins are in books
plop
alsome
Baud
I Loy puffin
awesome_tomboy
Thanks sooooo much I needed this for giving out feedback to my fourth grade students. I'm 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

Birds Bounce Back in the Amazing Azores!

 

Birds Bounce Back in the Amazing Azores!

read more

Tiger Facts!

 

Check out ten facts about these fierce felines!

Click HERE!

Black bears can sleep for up to seven months without eating or drinking.

What's YOUR favourite reptile?

Vote