The New International Encyclopædia/Puffin

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The New International Encyclopædia
Puffin
Edition of 1905. See also Puffin on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

PUFFIN (so called from its puffed-out beak). An auk of the genus Fratercula, characterized by the high, compressed form of the beak. The best known is the common one {Fratercula arctica) of the Arctic and north temperate regions generally, which migrates southward in winter as far as Spain and Long Island. It is a little larger than a pigeon; the forehead, crown, back of the head, a collar round the neck, the back, wings, and tail are black, the other parts of the plumage white. The puffin lays only a single egg in a burrow or some natural hole in a cliff-face, where great numbers congregate and behave like auks and guillemots (qq.v.). The eggs and young birds are sought after by fowlers for food. Other species are found in the Arctic and North Pacific oceans, coming to California in winter. Among the most notable are the crested putfin (Lunda cirrhata), which has a long tuft of feathers on each side of the head, and the tufted puffin (Fratercula corniculata) . This might more suitably be called ‘horned’ puffin, as each of its upper eyelids bears a slender, upright, acute horn (See Plate of Auks, Albatross, etc.), which, however, is only an appendage of the male in the breeding season, and drops off at its close, just as the special coatings and appendages of the beak and eyes in some other puffins are acquired in the spring and molted in the fall.


NIE 1905 Puffin.jpg
BEAK OF PUFFIN (Fratercula Arctica).

The left-hand figure shows the appearance of the beak of the male in the breeding season, at the close of which all the parts lettered are separately molted. The appearance of the beak in the non-breeding season (winter) is shown in the right-hand figure.