Fratercula – Puffins

Puffins have a close resemblance with penguins, but the colorful beak and ability to fly help in their differentiation

These stocky birds with white and black plumage (muddy underparts in some species), colorful beaks, and orange feet enjoy ocean life until disturbed by human activities. The vividly colored beaks (more prominent in breeding season) come in handy to differentiate two species of puffins. Did you know these birds are excellent swimmers and could dive deeper than 24 m (80 ft)? Also, they are agile flyers achieving impressive speed (64 kph/40 mph) in the air.

These species have adapted to sustain the harsh cold environmental conditions in the Northern hemisphere. The most helpful adaptations are; the layer of fats beneath the skin, which acts as an insulator, and water-proof feathers that can trap air for some extra warmth. Such unique characteristics with fun personalities make puffins worth a watch.