Posts tagged puffin

Atlantic Puffin - Fratercula arctica
Despite popular misconception, polar bears and penguins would never naturally interact. However, the Arctic does have puffins! These black-and-white seabirds have often been mistaken for penguins, but are a result of convergent evolution, not relation.
In adults, the brightly-colored beaks and “horns” on the eyes are part of their breeding plumage, and similarly to the antlers of moose and deer, are shed every year.
Puffins, like penguins, tend towards monogamy - but unlike penguins, their monogamy is largely due to fidelity towards their nesting site, not their mate. Generations of puffin families will nest in the same area, and if one gets “kicked out” or dies and another female chooses the area as a nest site, they will often find a different mate.
Brehms Tierleben, Allgemeine Kunde des Tierreichs. Prof. Otto zur Strassen, 1910.

Atlantic Puffin - Fratercula arctica

Despite popular misconception, polar bears and penguins would never naturally interact. However, the Arctic does have puffins! These black-and-white seabirds have often been mistaken for penguins, but are a result of convergent evolution, not relation.

In adults, the brightly-colored beaks and “horns” on the eyes are part of their breeding plumage, and similarly to the antlers of moose and deer, are shed every year.

Puffins, like penguins, tend towards monogamy - but unlike penguins, their monogamy is largely due to fidelity towards their nesting site, not their mate. Generations of puffin families will nest in the same area, and if one gets “kicked out” or dies and another female chooses the area as a nest site, they will often find a different mate.

Brehms Tierleben, Allgemeine Kunde des Tierreichs. Prof. Otto zur Strassen, 1910.

Lunda cirrata [now Fratercula cirrhata] - Tufted Puffin
Like other puffins, tufted puffins have vastly different breeding and winter plumage, along with horny coverings on the bill during the breeding season.
Bulletin de la Societe Zoologique de France. 1879.

Lunda cirrata [now Fratercula cirrhata] - Tufted Puffin

Like other puffins, tufted puffins have vastly different breeding and winter plumage, along with horny coverings on the bill during the breeding season.

Bulletin de la Societe Zoologique de France. 1879.

Fratercula corniculata - The Horned Puffin
The “horns” of the horned puffin are the fleshy protuberances above the eyes. Check out the parts of the face in Fig. 4 (the bill plates on the beak and the horns around the eyes). Those are grown during the breeding season and shed each year.
Bulletin de la Societe Zoologique de France pour l’Annee 1879.

Fratercula corniculata - The Horned Puffin

The “horns” of the horned puffin are the fleshy protuberances above the eyes. Check out the parts of the face in Fig. 4 (the bill plates on the beak and the horns around the eyes). Those are grown during the breeding season and shed each year.

Bulletin de la Societe Zoologique de France pour l’Annee 1879.

Birds of New York State. 1919, from N.Y. State Museum.

Birds of New York State. 1919, from N.Y. State Museum.