16 Puffins, the clowns of the sea

Puffins, the clowns of the sea

The puffins (Fratercula arctica) come to the land just for the breeding season from late April to late August. They spend the rest of their time in the open sea.

About one million puffins are believed to breed in the Faroe Islands during the summer. They create colonies along the cliffs, making burrows amongst rocks or in the ground. One of the most extensive colonies can be found on the island of Mykines, not far from the village.

Due to its big colourful beak, the puffin is often called the Clown of the Sea or Parrot of the Sea.
They are about 26-29 cm tall, weigh around 400 grams and often live more than 20-30 years.

Puffins flap their short wings rapidly while in the air and swim well underwater. They mainly eat small fish, such as sand eels, herring, hake and capelin. Thanks to their uniquely shaped beaks, they can carry many fish. The puffin’s raspy tongue holds fish against spines on the palate while the beak is opening to catch more fish.

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