Puffins look a little like penguins, but they’re completely different birds. Penguins live in the Antarctica, while puffins live only in the northern seas. These cute little birds stand only about 10 inches high, much smaller than most penguins. Puffins are expert swimmers and fishermen, diving 30 to 40 feet in search of fish.
Puffins are great parents. They usually mate for life and have one baby each summer. Both parents take care of the baby. Puffins dig burrows in soft earth along cliffs or on beaches for their babies. The burrows are about 3 feet long. Puffins make a toilet area in the front of the burrow to keep the baby clean. If baby puffins get their feathers dirty, they might drown once they swim out in the sea.
Fun Facts about Puffins for Kids
- Puffins have bright orange bills only during mating season. The rest of the year, their bills are dull orange.
- Puffins make low growling noises.
- Puffins carry fish to their babies. They can carry up to 60 fish at one time.
- Puffins use body language to communicate with each other. An angry puffin stamps its feet and opens its mouth wide.
- Puffins are fast flyers. Their wings beat so quickly they are sometimes a blur. Puffins can fly up to 55 miles per hour!
- Burrow: hole in the ground
- Dull: matte, not bright
- Communicate: share feelings
- Blur: hard to see, fuzzy
Learn More All About Puffins
See this awesome footage all about puffins:
A video of a baby puffin’s first swim.
Question: Are puffins endangered?
Answer: Puffins aren’t currently endangered, but they are vulnerable to overfishing or pollution.
Question: Does the puffin have any nicknames?
Answer: Puffins are sometimes called sea parrot or sea clown. Their Latin name is Fratercula arctica, which means “little brother of the north.”