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common name for a diving bird of the family Alcidae (aukauk
, common name for a member of the family Alcidae (alcid family), swimming and diving birds of the N Atlantic and Pacific, which includes the guillemots and puffins. Their legs are set far back on their bodies, making them clumsy on land, where they seldom venture except to
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 family). Its large, triangular bill, brilliantly colored in yellow, blue, and vermilion, is adapted to carrying several fish at one time; it also gives the puffin its alternate name of sea parrot. During the mating season horny excrescences may develop over the eyes. Puffins have dumpy bodies, short legs set far back, and small wings; although expert swimmers, they are clumsy on land and in flight. They nest in colonies in burrows or rock cavities on northern islands and migrate regularly—the Atlantic puffin, Fratercula arctica, as far south as Long Island and the Pacific puffin, Lunda cirrhata, to California. The female lays a single egg, which is incubated mainly by the female. The chick is fed fish by both parents, and is abruptly deserted after 6 weeks. The adolescent puffin stays alone for another week, and then leaves the burrow alone. Puffins are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Charadriiformes, family Alcidae.
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any of various northern diving birds of the family Alcidae (auks, etc.), esp Fratercula arctica (common or Atlantic puffin), having a black-and-white plumage and a brightly coloured vertically flattened bill: order Charadriiformes
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Atlantic puffins, the only burrow-nesting species on Funk Island, appeared to experience total breeding failure in 2009, since no adults were seen carrying food at the colony.
Relationship between wing length and body mass in Atlantic Puffin chicks.
A recent study of the Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica (Erikstad et al.
Date Leach's Atlantic puffin Black-legge d storm-petrel kittiwake June 1978 302 15 2 June 1979 30 3 5 August 1980 27 29 August 1980 15 9 1 May 1983 6 June 1983 15 5 3 July 1983 5 1 May 1984 101 1 3 October 1984 25 October 1984 23 4 1 June 1985 385 6 5 Totals 934 73 2 0 Overall Percentages 90 7 2 < 1 [Part 2 of 2] TABLE 1.
The Lore of the Atlantic puffin, a species that ranks among everyone's favorite seabirds, includes an enduring story about how parent birds starve their single nearly grown chicks until hunger motivates the youngsters to leave the security of clifftop burrows and, in the dark of night, leap to the pounding sea.
An Atlantic puffin on Skomer Island, taken on the new Sony RX10 III camera
I was amazed to watch many of the kids draw wonderful likenesses of the Atlantic Puffin. They had a real sense of shape in wildlife and felt it was because they were a bit closer to the land than most of us.
As an important breeding site in the UK, the Northumberland Marine SPA ranks: | Top for Arctic tern (9,564 individuals), common tern (2,572) and roseate tern (160) | Second for Sandwich tern (4,324 individuals) | Third for Atlantic puffin (108,484 individuals) | Fourth for common guillemot (65,751 individuals) | Eleventh for little tern (90 individuals)
About half the world's population of Manx shearwaters nest on the island, a national nature reserve, while the Atlantic puffin colony is the largest in southern Britain.

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