Canadian Marine Life Encyclopedia
Northern Pacific from California, through Canada to Alaska and in Japan and northeastern Asia
Open seas and coastal cliffs
Not at Risk
Class Aves (birds), Family Alcidae (auks)
ShareFacebook Twitter Pinterest Google+
Tufted puffins are seabirds of the open waters, islands and coastal cliffs of the north Pacific, known for their bold, bright and adorable looks. As a member of the auk family, they are highly adapted for flight underwater, using their wings to “fly” through the water after diving to look for food. Tufted puffins are fairly clumsy on land, making the whole take-off process an interesting task. They often thrash along the surface of the water before becoming airborne. Once in the air, they are strong fliers with certain members of the auk family eventually reaching speeds of over 60km/h. While foraging underwater, they navigate through schools of fish, capturing multiple in their bills at a time. Chicks eat almost entirely small fish such as sand lance but as adults, they also go after squid, crustaceans, sea urchins and other fish such as rockfish.