Tufted Puffin

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Tufted Puffin
Tufted Puffin
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Alcidae
Genus:Fratercula
Species:cirrhata
Binomial name
Fratercula cirrhata
(Pallas, 1769)

The Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) is a medium-sized pelagic seabird about 30 cm in length and weighing about three quarters of a kilogram. It mostly black with a white belly and facial patch, and a very large bill. The yellow tufts for which it is named are on the side of the head when the bird is in breeding plumage.

Tufted Puffins can be found throughout the northern Pacific Ocean. Originally, this bird nested as far south as southern California; some colonies still remain off northern California. Their diet is almost exclusively fish, which they catch by diving from the surface. Adults may also feed on squid or other invertebrates. Feeding areas can be located far offshore from the nesting areas.

Most birds spend winter far out to sea.

Behaviour

Tufted Puffins hunt fish during the day and return to their nests at dusk to feed the young. They are very social, and fish in flocks of 10 to 25 birds. They can disperse widely at sea, but every year, during breeding season, they return to the colony where they were born and to the same mate. They have short wings that beat rapidly in flight and are greatly adapted for swimming under water.

Breeding and reproduction

Breeding takes place on isolated islands: over 25,000 pairs have been recorded in a single colony off the coast of British Columbia. The nest is usually a simple burrow dug with the bill and feet, but sometimes a crevice between rocks is used instead. It is well-lined with vegetation and feathers. Courtship occurs through skypointing, strutting, and billing. A single egg is laid, usually in June, and incubated by both parents for about 45 days. Fledglings leave the nest at between 40 and 55 days.

References

  • Stirling, Katie. ADW: Fratercula cirrhata. University of Michigan, Michigan, USA.

<http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Fratercula_cirrhata.html>eo:Tufa fraterkulo ja:エトピリカ

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