Puffin

Fratercula arctica

An oceanic bird, puffins are summer visitors that arrive to nest between late March and early April in the vast coastal clifftop colonies.

By the end of August they have finished rearing their young and leave to return to the sea.

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Discover more about the Puffin

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When to see

An oceanic bird, puffins are summer visitors that arrive to nest between late March and early April in the vast coastal clifftop colonies. By the end of August they have finished rearing their young and leave to return to the sea.

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Where to see

Found in extensive cliff top colonies around the coasts of Scotland from Galloway to Wick, on the islands and along the eastern cliffs from North Berwick to Berwick-on-Tweed. Scotland’s largest single colony is found on the island of St Kilda (136,000 pairs). The fastest growing colony has been on the Isle of May. Best seen during the late afternoon and early evening, when not feeding or incubating, puffins are gregarious gathering together in “rafts” close offshore, or spending time together on the slabs and tussocks outside their nests.

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Did you know?

When St Kilda was inhabited, puffin were a major source of income (meat and feathers) and food for the local inhabitants. An estimated harvest of 79,000 birds was recorded in one year. They are protected now in the UK, but are still harvested in Iceland.

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Related species

Guillemot Razorbill

Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

An oceanic bird, puffins are summer visitors that arrive to nest between late March and early April in the vast coastal clifftop colonies. By the end of August they have finished rearing their young and leave to return to the sea.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

Found in extensive cliff top colonies around the coasts of Scotland from Galloway to Wick, on the islands and along the eastern cliffs from North Berwick to Berwick-on-Tweed. Scotland’s largest single colony is found on the island of St Kilda (136,000 pairs). The fastest growing colony has been on the Isle of May. Best seen during the late afternoon and early evening, when not feeding or incubating, puffins are gregarious gathering together in “rafts” close offshore, or spending time together on the slabs and tussocks outside their nests.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

When St Kilda was inhabited, puffin were a major source of income (meat and feathers) and food for the local inhabitants. An estimated harvest of 79,000 birds was recorded in one year. They are protected now in the UK, but are still harvested in Iceland.

Dolphin Icon Blue
Related species

Guillemot Razorbill

Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

An oceanic bird, puffins are summer visitors that arrive to nest between late March and early April in the vast coastal clifftop colonies. By the end of August they have finished rearing their young and leave to return to the sea.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

Found in extensive cliff top colonies around the coasts of Scotland from Galloway to Wick, on the islands and along the eastern cliffs from North Berwick to Berwick-on-Tweed. Scotland’s largest single colony is found on the island of St Kilda (136,000 pairs). The fastest growing colony has been on the Isle of May. Best seen during the late afternoon and early evening, when not feeding or incubating, puffins are gregarious gathering together in “rafts” close offshore, or spending time together on the slabs and tussocks outside their nests.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

When St Kilda was inhabited, puffin were a major source of income (meat and feathers) and food for the local inhabitants. An estimated harvest of 79,000 birds was recorded in one year. They are protected now in the UK, but are still harvested in Iceland.

Dolphin Icon Blue
Related species

Guillemot Razorbill

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