Tufted Puffin

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swimming tufted puffin
A tufted puffin swims in the waters west of Protection Island.

Tufted Puffin Facts:

Scientific Name: Fratercula cirrhata

Tufted puffins are in the auk family of seabirds.

Notable Features

The tufted puffin’s distinctive features are the white/yellow tufts on the sides of its head and its large, red beak.

Where to Find Tufted Puffins in the Pacific Northwest:

In the area of the Salish Sea, the most common places to find tufted puffins are around Smith and Protection island — both islands are protected aquatic reserves and boats can only come within 200 yard of shore. 1 You can find numerous boat cruises that will take you near these islands — but you, of course, are not guaranteed to see a puffin.

Protection Island is host to one of only a couple of tufted puffin nesting sites in the Salish Sea 2 and an important site for rhinoceros auklet nesting as well.

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  1. Unless you are a researcher or volunteer — I observed a small house and bunch of humans waving at us from the island[]
  2. Protection Island/National Wildlife Refuge[]
Synonyms:
tufted puffins
Categories: Birds, Fauna, Nature
Tufted Puffin (Wikipedia)

The tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata), also known as crested puffin, is a relatively abundant medium-sized pelagic seabird in the auk family (Alcidae) found throughout the North Pacific Ocean. It is one of three species of puffin that make up the genus Fratercula and is easily recognizable by its thick red bill and yellow tufts.

Tufted puffin
Tufted Puffin Alaska (cropped).jpg
Breeding adult, St. Paul Island, Alaska
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Alcidae
Genus:Fratercula
Species:
F. cirrhata
Binomial name
Fratercula cirrhata
(Pallas, 1769)
Fratercula cirrhata distribution map.svg
Distribution map of the tufted puffin
  extant (resident)
  extant (breeding visitor)
  extant (winter visitor)
Synonyms

Alca cirrhata Pallas, 1769
Lunda cirrhata (Pallas, 1769)
Sagmatorrhina lathami Bonaparte, 1851

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