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Atlantic Puffin

Fratercula arctica

Photo:Scott Leslie, Tobeatic Wilderness Committee (Helen's site)
Atlantic Puffin. Photo:Scott Leslie, Tobeatic Wilderness Committee (Helen's site)"

Often referred to as the sea parrot, the Atlantic puffin's large, colorful, triangular bill makes this species one of Canada's most charismatic bird species. The Puffin nests in variably sized colonies (ranging from just a few pairs, to over 200,000 pairs) on isolated islands along the Lower North Shore and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A single egg is laid in either a burrow or crevice. Adult puffins invest much into their lone egg; each is incubated for up to 49 days, followed by a nestling period of 38-44 days. Puffins are also expert swimmers and divers. Using their wings to propel themselves underwater, puffins can dive up to hundreds of feet to catch fish. Possibly the decline of large fish such as cod has permitted an increased abundance of forage species such as capelin and sand lance, which are some of the preferred prey of the Atlantic puffin.

Map of Atlantic Puffin in Canada
Distribution of Atlantic Puffin in Canada

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