BIRDS OF ICELAND : Fratercula arctica, puffin

Fratercula arctica; no doubt the puffin is one of the top photo models in bird photography! The colorful heavy beak and the white face is so characteristic that it cannot be confused with any other species. Note that it has red legs and feet like the black guillemots but unlike all other auks of the region. A characteristic feature of the puffins contrary to other auks is their "at rest" position. They usually stand upright on their feet. Other auks usually sit on their lower legs. Also, the puffin can walk much better than other auks. It is the most common sea bird of Iceland. Like other auks they breed in colonies. One egg is laid generally in burrows on the boundary of rock and turf layers but also in other protected spots. Apart form being common in Iceland they are common throughout the Atlantic. It is quite surprising that this bird is so little shy towards humans as their colonies have been "harvested" for centuries.

A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise
Other Auk-family members

Other auk-family species

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Natural History of Iceland Site  in Dutch

Natural History of Iceland Site  Dutch