Puffin, Atlantic

The puffin (Fratercula arctica) is one of the UK's most well-loved and easily recognised birds. It has a comical appearance, with its parrot-like, large colourful bill, red and black markings around the eyes, large pale cheek patches and bright orange legs. Young puffins lack the large colourful beak. In winter, adults lose their bright bill, and both adults and young have dark cheeks. A deep arrr-uh noise is produced, which can be heard emanating from puffin burrows. During the breeding season the puffin develops a distinctive colourful beak, but this becomes dull in the winter. Puffins spend most of the year at sea and only return to land once a year to breed. An extra bone in the puffin's jaw prevents fish at the tip from falling out. The puffin's bill is serrated to help carry fish, and it has been recorded holding 83 sand eels!




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