The Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) is a black and white seabird, instantly recognizable by its large and colorful bill. Puffins nest on both sides of the North Atlantic as far south as Maine and Brittany, but in winter are found considerably further south. They are occasionally found many miles inland after storms.
The puffin is a highly adept swimmer and dives for its food, small fish such as sand eels. Puffins are often seen with a whole beakful of small fish, though how they catch subsequent fish without dropping the ones they are already holding is a mystery.
Like many other seabirds, puffins nest underground in burrows (often commandeered from rabbits) at the top of sea cliffs. They nest in large colonies, up to 1 million pairs together. Only one egg is laid each year. After being fed by its parents for up to 50 days, the young puffin is abandoned, and finally, driven by starvation, flies out to sea on its own. Here it spends up to 3 years before returning to the colony where it was born, and then begins the task of seeking a mate and a nesting burrow.