Warming Waters May Bring End to Puffin Population

Compared to penguins, puffins are quieter and more mellow, Though these two species are similar in appearance. Puffins' colorful, thick beaks also help make them stand out, among their other unique feathers.

Puffins live in the Atlantic Ocean range in waters near New England and off the Canadian coast. They live in predator-free zones, which enables which their young to thrive in safe areas. They move from water to land only when breeding.

When breeding starts, this species goes through changes. Their beaks grow thicker and become a brighter orange, while their white feathers replace their black feathers. Once on land, Puffins bury a single egg in a feather or grass-lined nest. Both parents take turns keeping the egg warm by tucking it under a wing. The female puffin typically goes back and forth to water to bring small fish for her baby to eat, though the male helps with feeding sometimes.

Sadly, the future for puffins is not bright due to climate change. Researchers have noticed that warming water temperatures has cause puffins trouble finding food. Therefore, the puffin population has recently been in decline. Conservationists and researchers alike hope that efforts to restore the puffin's habitats might make the friendly creatures future bright again.

[Source: National Geographic, Nature in America]