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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.


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
References in periodicals archive ?
Pay a visit to Machias Seal Island at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, a nesting territory for thousands of seabirds each summer, including about 1000 pair of Atlantic puffins.
A study by the trust of seabird sites study by the trust of seabird sites along the 742 miles of coastline it cares for revealed that the most prevalent threat to breeding colonies of birds such as little terns and Atlantic puffins was extreme weather.
The wet, windy summer in 2012 hit the population of Atlantic puffins on the Farne Islands in Northumberland, said the trust.
This year, Nixon is also scheduled to sail on Celebrity Century in Europe, offering discussions on topics including humpback whales of the North Atlantic; Atlantic puffins, bottlenose dolphins and killer whales; the difference between seals and sea lions; and glacial geography.
Since that initial success, Kress and Podolsky have experimented with sound and sight lures to attract other prospecting seabirds -- ranging from Atlantic puffins and robin-sized Leache's storm petrels in the Gulf of Maine to Laysan albatrosses with 7-foot wing-spans spaHawaii.
YOUNG Atlantic puffins migrating for the first time scout out their own routes, rather than rely on genetic programming or help from their parents, a new study has revealed.
To date, the team has successfully treated, rehabilitated and released more than 180 birds back to the wild including gannets, shags, cormorants, razorbills, guillemots, storm petrels, scoters, Atlantic puffins, and several species of gulls.

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