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Tufted Puffin - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by steenl
Seward, Alaska, 6 June 2005
Fratercula cirrhata


36–41 cm (14¼-16¼ in); a medium-sized pelagic seabird

  • Mostly black
  • White facial patch
  • Very large bill
  • Yellow tufts on the side of the head (during breeding)


Photo © by ducbucln
Cannon Beach, Oregon, 4 June 2019

Coasts and islands of north-eastern Asia to Aleutians and southern California.

Most birds winter far out to sea.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Breed on coastal sea cliffs. Winter on open sea.



Colonial burrow breeders on isolated islands. Courtship occurs through skypointing, strutting, and billing. The nest is lined with vegetation and feathers, into which a single egg is laid, usually in June. It is incubated by both adults for about 45 days. Fledglings leave the nest at between 40 and 55 days.


The diet consists almost entirely of fish, which they catch by diving from the surface. Adults may also feed on squid or other invertebrates. Feeding areas can be far from the nesting areas.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Nettleship, D.N., de Juana, E., Garcia, E.F.J. & Boesman, P. (2017). Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/54080 on 26 July 2017).
  3. Animal Pictures Archive
  4. BirdForum Member observations
  5. Piatt, John F. and Alexander S. Kitaysky.(2002).Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata), The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/tufpuf

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