At Afognak Wilderness Lodge, we aim to provide comfortable lodging for those vacationing in Kodiak, Alaska. Our wilderness vacation retreat offers a unique experience, that will give you memories that will last a lifetime. We attribute much of this to the breathtaking scenery and wildlife that’s perfect for both photographers and those who just want to relax and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. In this blog, we’ll be covering some of our favorite seabirds: the puffin.

What Are Puffins?

Puffins are short (approximately 10 inches tall), stocky birds that hold somewhat of a resemblance to penguins. While puffins look more like a traditional bird, they have the same black-and-white color scheme of a penguin, but with one difference – their big, bright orange beak. These puffins can be found roaming around the Afognak Islands, mainly just bobbing about in the water. Puffins include any of the three small species that belong to the Alcidae family of seabirds and the Fratercula genus. These three species of puffins are:

  • The Atlantic Puffin – This is the smallest of the puffins. It also separates itself from the others with its blue triangle at the base of its beak.
  • The Horned Puffin – This puffin gets its name from the horned projections that extend above its eyes. In contrast to the Atlantic Puffin, the Horned Puffin’s beak is mostly yellow with an orange tip.
  • The Tufted Puffin – This is the largest puffin and is known for its long, straw-colored feathers that extend from its crown during mating season.

What Do Puffins Eat?

Their specific diet can vary depending on their location, but puffins primarily eat small fish. Puffins can actually carry about a dozen fish at a time in their beaks! This enables them to go on longer foraging trips since they can continue hunting for prey even with a mouth already full of fish.

What Are Their Breeding Habits?

Puffins will usually live to be more than 20 years old and typically don’t breed until they’re at least five years old. Puffins will breed in colonies that they return to in March or April; a puffin colony can sometimes include up to several thousand pairs of puffins! The mates will usually stay together for life, though not necessarily for the entire year.

For breeding purposes, puffins will use their bills and feet to dig burrows that are about two to three feet long. At the back of this burrow, the parents will build a nest comprised of feathers and grass that will be used to incubate an egg. Puffins will lay one egg per year and both parents will actually split the time of incubating the egg and providing food for the newly hatched chick.

Contact Your Kodiak, Alaska Lodge Today!

If you’re looking for lodging in Kodiak, Alaska, you’ve come to the right place! If you have any questions or you’re looking to book your stay with us, we encourage you to contact us online or give us a call at 1-360-799-3250. We look forward to seeing you and treating you to an experience you’ll never forget!