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Uncover the Atlantic Puffin – Nature Canada


This month’s Nature Canada calendar exhibits you why this stunning resident of jap Canada is close to the highest of each birder’s listing.

The place do they reside?

The Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), typically known as the Frequent Puffin, is discovered on the North Atlantic shorelines in breeding season, and strikes within the winter out to the open Atlantic, all the time south of the icepack, and typically as far south as New York.

What do they seem like?

The Atlantic Puffin is a small, duck-like chicken: 30 cm in size with a 50 cm wingspan and weighing 380 g. Women and men are comparable in look, with a black physique, a white chest and orange legs. Its most outstanding options are the crimson and black markings across the eyes and the big and vibrant beak on a white face. The beak is crimson, yellow and orange within the breeding season; it’s shed to disclose a duller beak in winter.

What do they eat?

The younger are fed sand lance, herring, capelin, cod and different small fish. Adults forage at sea for fish and crustaceans inside 15 m of the floor.

How do they reproduce?

The Atlantic Puffin is solitary in winter; in breeding season, nevertheless, they’re gregarious, forming large colonies. They kind monogamous pairs after a courtship show with their vibrant beaks. Nests are in lengthy burrows in rock crevices or below rocks alongside shorelines. These are reused yr after yr by the identical pair. Normally, just one egg is laid. Each mother and father take turns incubating the egg over 36-44 days, and each feed the nestling (typically known as “puffling”). Initially, they feed small fish on to the younger; as they become old, the dad or mum drops the fish on the nest ground. The younger go away the nest 38-44 days after they hatch and fly out to sea.

Breeding first happens between three to 6 years of age.

Puffins are reported to reside for about 20 years within the wild.

Fascinating stuff

  • The Atlantic Puffin is the official chicken of Newfoundland and Labrador. This province has ~95% of all North America’s breeding areas. The most important puffin colony within the Western Atlantic is in Newfoundland, on the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve.
  • In contrast to different seabirds that regurgitate caught fish for his or her younger, the Atlantic Puffin carries the fish complete to their nestlings.
  • Puffins can seize and carry many small fish at a time. Two vital options make this doable: the serrated beaks have a hinge that enables the highest and backside halves to fulfill at completely different angles, and the tough tongue can maintain the fish towards the palate whereas it opens the beak to catch extra fish.
  • Puffins can swim below water for as much as a minute at a time, utilizing their wings as fins and ft as rudders.

Previously, the Atlantic Puffin and their eggs had been a meals supply, and their skins, with feathers intact, had been historically sewn collectively to make a water-proof cloak or coat. At the moment, puffin populations are threatened by air pollution and overfishing that endanger their meals supply, invasive predators, and the warming tendencies in local weather modifications that have an effect on their breeding success. You’ll be able to take pleasure in these pleasant birds in protected areas just like the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve; you too can be sure that future generations will take pleasure in them as effectively by supporting conservation efforts to guard the Atlantic Puffin habitat and meals sources.

Keep updated with the newest in Canadian nature by subscribing to our emails. You’ll obtain common updates about what we’re doing to guard wildlife just like the Atlantic Puffin — and how one can assist.




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