The Puffin

The unmistakable bird

RSPB PuffinAn unmistakable bird with its black back and white underparts, and distinctive black head with large pale cheeks and a tall, flattened, brightly-coloured bill.

Its comical appearance is heightened by its red and black eye-markings and bright orange legs.

Used as a symbol for books and other items, this clown among seabirds is one of the world’s favourite birds.

Latin name

Fratercula arctica

Family

Auks (Alcidae)

Where to see them

Best looked for at a breeding colony. Try the RSPB’s Bempton Cliffs (N Yorks) and South Stack (Anglesey) reserves; the Farne Islands (Northumberland); the Isle of May (off the Fife coast); and the Shetland and Orkney Islands.

When to see them

Adults arrive back at the breeding colony in March and April and leave again in mid-August. Some remain in the North Sea at winter, other move further south to the Bay of Biscay.

What they eat

Fish, especially sandeels

Click on any of the birds below to find out all you need to know!