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Photographer's Note

The Atlantic Puffin: a family picture
Range: Nests E.Maine to to Newfoundland and Iceland to Ireland, UK and nw. coast of France. Winters in open waters of breeding range.
Size: 11 1/2 - 13 1/2" long; wingspan 21-24"; weight 490.5 gr. (1 lb. 1 1/3 oz.).
Feeding habits: Dives from air or surface, swims rapidly underwater using wings like other alcids, catches small fishes, mollusks, and crustaceans, which it swallows underwater, but when feeding young, can carry up to 30 small fishes at one time, crosswise in bill owing to round tongue and slight serrations on interior of upper mandible which help it hold fishes.
Other names: Common puffin, bottle-nose, coulterneb, Labrador auk, large-billed puffin, pope, sea parrot, tammy norie.
Nesting habits: Nests in burrows, usually 1 egg, incubates 42 days (average).

The Atlantic Puffin is a rather small sea bird that spends most of its time at sea in the North Atlantic Ocean. They are Auks or members of the Alcidae Family of birds (alcids). The only time it usually comes ashore is to breed and raise a chick.

These are the only puffins that occur in the Atlantic. There are two species of puffins that occur in the Pacific - Horned Puffins and Tufted Puffins. They are so appealing probably because of the multi-colored bills that they display during the breeding season and have given them nicknames like "sea parrot" and "clowns of the sea". Puffins have always been liked by people but, for a long time, for reasons other than bird watching. When the early pioneers came to the North Atlantic coast in the 1600's, they began killing seabirds for food. As more settlers came to New England, puffins (and many other birds) were killed for their feathers. These feathers were used often as decorations in ladies' hats! Puffins have long been hunted in some parts of their range and are a common food item in Iceland and the Faeroe Islands today.
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Picture reposted after using KLE indications.

sarahnatalie, ayobami, NellyD, Janice, kermit350, JCG, simpatico has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Michel Detay (mdetay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 493 W: 1 N: 1025] (4865)
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