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Adorable sea birds
The term “puffin” refers to any of three small species of alcids (auks) that displays a brightly colored beak during breeding season. Stocky, with short wings and a short tail, these birds display a cuteness that makes them wonderful photographic subjects.
Because they are seabirds, they feed primarily by diving in the water. They breed in large colonies on coastal cliffs or offshore islands in the northern hemisphere. There, they nest in crevices among rocks or in burrows in the soil. Some of the best places to see them are in Alaska and Iceland.
These birds have predominantly black or black and white plumage, a stocky build, and large beaks. After breeding season, they shed the colorful outer parts of their bills. This leaves a smaller, duller beak in non-breeding birds.
Their short wings are adapted for swimming with a flying technique under water. However, unlike penguins, puffins can fly! In the air, they beat their wings rapidly (up to 400 times per minute).
Although the puffins are vocal at their breeding colonies, they are silent at sea.