Tufted Puffin

1/400s at f8.0, ISO:1000, Canon EOS-1D X w/800mm, USM +1.4x III

Tufted Puffins form dense breeding colonies during the summer reproductive season from British Columbia, throughout southeastern Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands and throughout the Sea of Okhotsk. While they share some habitat with Horned Puffins, the range of the Tufted Puffin is generally more southern. They once nested as far south as southern California, but now only a few scattered colonies remain off northern California. Tufted Puffins typically select islands or cliffs that are relatively inaccessible to predators, close to productive waters, and high enough that they can take to the air successfully. Ideal habitat is steep but with a relatively soft soil substrate and grass for the creation of burrows. Tufted Puffins feed almost exclusively on fish, which they catch by diving from the surface. Adults may also feed on squid or other invertebrates. During the winter feeding season, they spend their time almost exclusively at sea, extending their range throughout the North Pacific and south to Japan and California.
St. Paul, AK