Puffins: celebrating a newborn puffling at the Seattle Aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium‘s recent addition of an adorable tufted puffin chick, also known as a “puffling,” has captured hearts and attention. The new puffling, affectionately called the “parrots of the sea”, adds an extra dose of charm to the already captivating Birds & Shores habitat.
Birds & Shores habitat
With protection from the wild’s dangers, the little puffling enjoys top-notch care at the Aquarium. The Birds & Shores habitat offers intriguing sights for visitors too, bringing the coastal Northwest to life.
Witness the playful antics of tufted puffins, and explore the habitats of fish and invertebrates like sea stars and sea urchins. It’s not just a display, but a chance to immerse yourself in the scents and sights of Puget Sound.
Parents, Dora and Boots
The dedicated pair Dora and Boots are seasoned parents who share responsibilities like nest building, egg incubation, and feeding. A close-knit family, they display the monogamous and nurturing traits common in tufted puffins.
Tufted puffins: the divers of the sea
Tufted puffins can dive up to 100 feet and remain underwater for two minutes while hunting. Their unique ability to hold numerous small fish crosswise in their bills is an extraordinary spectacle.
Love in the puffin world
Forming lifetime partnerships and returning to the same burrow each year, tufted puffins display a strong sense of love and commitment in their relationships.
Challenges and conservation
Human-induced hazards like oil spills, fishing nets, and habitat destruction pose threats to puffins. Awareness and action to care for the ocean will play a vital role in ensuring the safety of these unique birds.
Tufted puffin facts
- Species: Fratercula cirrhata
- Diet: Silversides, herring, krill, squid, shrimp
- Diving Depth: Up to 100 feet
- Breeding Age: Approximately three years
- Nesting: Deep burrows up to five feet deep
- Plumage: Seasonal changes in coloring, including bill plate shedding
Reflecting on the Puffling’s future
The arrival of the new puffling at the Seattle Aquarium offers a close look into the captivating world of tufted puffins. While the Aquarium provides a secure environment, it’s essential to recognize our collective responsibility to ensure these unique creatures’ long-term survival. Their well-being mirrors the ocean’s health, a testament to nature’s interconnectedness that deserves our continuous care and respect.