Any of three species (family Alcidae) of diving birds with a large, brightly coloured, triangular beak. Puffins nest in large colonies on seaside and island cliffs. Both parents carry up to 10 fish crosswise in the bill to the nest (a deep burrow); they feed the single chick for about six weeks. They then leave, and the chick waits alone for its flight feathers to grow, living on stored fat, and then flies out to sea by itself. The common, or Atlantic, puffin (Fratercula arctica) is about 12 in. (30 cm) long. The Pacific species are the horned puffin (F. corniculata) and the tufted puffin (Lunda cirrhata).
Common puffin (Fratercula arctica)—Ben Goldstein/Root Resources
Variants of PUFFIN
puffin or sea parrot
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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