Alaska – Puffins!
During last years’ trip to Alaska we went on a couple of excursions hoping to get decent pictures of the colorful Puffins – the small black and white torpedo shaped birds with the colorful beaks and the expressive eyes. At the end of the trip we had seen a few puffins but failed to get any compelling photos. This year we saw many more puffins (both horned and tufted) and I was able to capture what I think are some pretty fair photos. I’ll just use today’s post to introduce you to the tufted Puffins.
This is a tufted puffin – easily identified by the yellow tufts of feathers running down its neck. The orange beak and feet make the puffins very identifiable even when passing by low over the water at high speeds. This puffin was at a little island called “gull rock” which is a rookery for many types of marine birds including the puffins. While the puffins spend most of their lives at sea (they are pelagic), they breed on the islands and produce a single egg. After hatching, the fledglings leave the nest in about 40-50 days.