Where Do Puffins Live?


Quick Answer

For most of the year, puffins live in the open oceans of the world, the small colorful bird's waterproof feathers keep them warm and their ability to dive to depths of 200 feet ensures that they are well fed when in the sea. During mating season, puffins return to the flock or colony to find a lifelong partner.

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Full Answer

The Atlantic puffin lives in the North Atlantic ocean, and the Horned puffin lives in the waters off of California and the northern coast of Asia while breeding in the area from northwestern Alaska to the border of Alaska and British Columbia. The Tufted puffin lives in the North Pacific and northern Asia and breeds from northwestern Alaska to central California.

The Rhinocerros Auklet lives in the waters from the Alaska Peninsula to central California and breeds on the coastal lands in the same area.

It's estimated that more than 60 percent of the world's Atlatic puffins breed in or close to Iceland. This breaks down to about 8 to 10 million puffins living in Iceland with 3 to 4 million pairs of birds getting together on its shores each year. Colonies can number in the thousands. Puffin Island, off the coast from nearby Reykjavik, has a population of around 20,000 birds.

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