Puffins are super cool birds, and while they might not have the clout of elephants, gorillas or lions, they are plenty worth traveling to visit in the wild.
The first thing to be aware of is there are actually three distinct species of Puffin. The Atlantic puffin, horned puffin and tufted puffin all have pretty wide ranges of habitat when living in the wild. The birds spend much of the year far out at sea, and generally only return to land during the breeding season.
The Atlantic puffin makes its nest along New England, Greenland, Canada, Scandinavia and Russia. Horned puffins are far-flung as well, and breed along coasts of the northern Pacific, including Alaska, northern British Columbia and eastern Russia. Tufted puffins share territory with the horned puffins, but range further south into Oregon, Washington and California.
If traveling to these remote locations at these specific times doesn’t work for you, consider seeing the birds in zoos or aquariums. This might not count for birders, but captive birds provide excellent muses for art and photography.
For zoos and aquariums, check out the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Saint Louis Zoo for Puffin exhibits.
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