Horned PuffinPhotos, Pictures, Prints

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Fratercula corniculata

The horned puffin (Fratercula corniculata) is an Alaskan seabird that feeds primarily by diving for fish. Though its bill is yellow at the base and red at the tip, they have a small fleshy black “horn” above their eyes. It’s for this reason that they earned their name.

This bird breeds on rocky islands. However, they winter far out to sea. Horned puffins will return from hunting with several small fish in their beaks. Sadly, the population of these birds has declined due to the introduction of rats onto some islands used for nesting.

Puffins are difficult to photograph. They are very skittish to get close to, even with a 600mm or longer telephoto lens. The best bet for photographing puffins is from land when they are nesting. Then, the photographer may to observe them without disturbing them.

Additionally, the photographer may isolate the birds against a clean ‘”blurred” out background. The Pribilof Islands, particularly St George, and Round Island near Dillingham, Alaska are great locations to photograph puffins.

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