Funny looking Atlantic Puffin is a species of the bird cliffs that breeds in large colonies with other sea birds in the Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean in Greenland, Iceland and the East Coast of Northern America. It also has separate breeding areas on the South-East coast of England and the Bretagne coast in France. In Northern Norway the Atlantic Puffin live on four different bird cliffs, of which Hornøya and the Røst in Lofoten are the most easily accessible from Lapland. Previously, egg collectors have reduced the populations of Atlantic Puffin, but nowadays the species is threatened by rats that have settled on the breeding islands as well as excessive fishing. Atlantic Puffin is mainly migratory, and during fierce winter storm, Atlantic Puffins may also stray to Finland.
Colourful Atlantic Puffin with a parrot-like beak, breeds in colonies of nests on bird mountains. Usually the Atlantic Puffin will excavate a nest passage, sometimes it may nest in a hole in the cliff. During breeding season, the Atlantic Puffin will lay only one egg, so it reproduces slowly. The species eats mainly fish that they catch in open sea. The parents usually fish within a ten-kilometre radius from the breeding colony, but sometimes they may travel up to 50–100 kilometres. In photos, you often see Atlantic Puffin with their beaks full of small fish, such as capelins or sand eels. The Atlantic Puffin can dive 30–60 metres for food. Because the feet of Atlantic Puffin are close to its tail, their walk resembles that of a penguin.
Text: Jukka Jokimäki & Marja-Liisa Kaisanlahti-Jokimäki
Read more about Atlantic Puffin:
Flying Arctis -frontpage.