¨°Fish°¨Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica)

The adult birds return to the colonies in late March or early April, and initially spend a long time on the sea in large flocks called rafts.


Where possible, the birds excavate a nesting burrow into the soil. Sometimes they will make use of Manx shearwater or rabbit burrows. Where burrowing is not possible, the birds nest under boulders or in cracks and cavities in cliffs.


The birds defend the nesting site and its immediate surround, and use it in subsequent years. Puffins lay only a single egg, in late April or early May. Both parents incubate it for 36-45 days, and they share the feeding duties until the chick is ready to fledge.


The fledging period is very variable, ranging from 34 to 60 days, depending on the area and year.


Adult birds desert their young shortly before they are ready to leave the nest. The timing of the breeding in puffin colonies is highly synchronised, and so the departure of all adults takes place within a few days.


The young birds leave their nest burrow and make their way to the sea, normally under cover of darkness to avoid predators. In some colonies, for instance in Iceland, nearby bright lights confuse the young birds, which then fly into the light and end up on city streets.


Puffins usually reach breeding age at 5-6 years old, and often live for 20 years.


  • Kia & Zeno 5y

    What a fantastic shot! We are so green eyed with envy! Just kidding, although we sure wish to get such a beautiful shot of a Puffin.
  • Primeguy 5y

    This incredible photos is instant Fav.... like to go back later...Congrats!
  • bajodetorax PRO 5y

  • J. van de Pas 4y

    great details!
  • Arlete M 4y

    Fantastic capture!
  • smalltownSK 4y

    Amazing shot.
  • Justė Bulkytė 4y

  • valdecasas 4y

    So cool!
  • Denise 4y

  • jaffles PRO 4y

    What fantastic shot. I like it much!
  • Irene Kauffman 4y

    Great pic!!!
  • MausM LoubR 4y

    Beautiful!!! :)
  • Saibal Ghosh PRO 4y

    Congratulations! Stunning Photos on www.photoExplode.com has added this photo under Stunning Photos Category. Cheers!!! :)

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  • Jan Miřacký 4y

    Wow, what a perfect shot of a puffin!
  • Michel Joffres PRO 4y

    What a series of amazing pictures!
  • Ghislaine Meicler 4y

    bon appetit !!!
    c'est superbe
  • roroscal 3y

    My goodness!!!

    We'd like to have your pic in our group mmmhhh!!! That's Good!!!.
  • Home@Dundas 3y

    Superb catch - the fish (are those smelt?) - and the picture!

    Thanks for sharing one of the best bird pics I've seen in a long time!
  • Ubaían PRO 3y

    Beautiful moment
  • Bob Palin PRO 5mo


    Your picture has been nominated by ten of your fellow members.
    Congratulations on entering the Gallery of Great Pictures

    National Geographic: Are You Good Enough? (P1/C3)
229 faves
Taken on July 20, 2008
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