Did you know puffins are one of the most beloved seabirds in the world? These adorable creatures have a lot going for them, from their brightly-colored beaks to their playful nature. Here are six facts about puffins that you must know!
1. Puffins can fly!
Puffins are better known for being able to swim and dive deep underwater, but puffins are actually very good at flying too. Their short wings help puffins stay light enough to take off, so puffins can launch themselves into the air with ease. Even though puffins spend a lot of their time in the water, puffins are excellent flyers.
2. Puffins have great vision underwater…
Because puffins spend so much of their lives at sea, puffins have to have good eyesight both above and below the surface of the water.
Although puffins’ eyes are smaller than human eyes, puffins’ eyes are specially adapted for underwater vision. Puffins can see very well in water – puffins can even spot fish swimming up to 30 feet away!
3. …And they have great hearing too!
Puffins don’t just rely on their sight to find food though – puffins also use their great sense of hearing to track down tasty fish!
Puffins can hear even the tiniest sounds underwater, so puffins know just where to look for their favorite food. Puffins use this special skill to find hiding fish and sneak up on them before puffins pounce at lightning speed!
4. Puffins can dive deep!
Puffins fly fast and they swim even faster. Puffins love to hunt for fish and puffins need to be able to go after their prey with speed and agility.
Deep dives like puffins make help puffins catch that tasty meal – puffin dives can go as deep as 200 feet, which is deeper than any other bird!
5. Puffins are very social creatures
Puffins are very social creatures. In the puffin world, puffin couples enjoy a long-term bond that is often referred to as “marriage.” The male puffin takes care of the female puffin and their chicks. When she lays an egg, he builds a nest for it and incubates it while she goes out to sea to fish. It’s a pretty great arrangement if you’re a puffin!
6. They are particularly good at fishing
Puffins are excellent swimmers that can dive as deep as 200 meters! Although puffins eat fish, they actually don’t have teeth. When puffins catch fish, they swallow them whole after smacking them with their bills to stun or kill them first. Unlike many other seabirds, puffins have a great sense of smell that allows them to sniff out fish from very deep underwater.
Puffins are a fascinating species to study. They have a complex social hierarchy that is based on puffin personalities and puffin rank, puffin mating behaviors, puffin feeding habits, puffins nesting behavior, and the reproductive cycle of the local population. Puffins have also been found to play an important role in maintaining healthy seabird colonies by controlling populations of prey such as sand eels and herring for other birds like kittiwakes and gulls. As you can see from this brief overview, there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to these curious creatures!