This image was awarded Best Nature Photograph of the Year in southeast Michigan by the Greater Detroit Council of
Camera Clubs on January 22, 2011.
From my gallery "Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, Newfoundland"
Atlantic puffins feed primarily by diving for small fish, such as herring, sand eels, sprats, hake, and capelin but also
eat other sea creatures, such as squid and crustaceans. They are able to dive 200 feet deep and stay under
water for up to a minute, although most dives last 20-30 seconds. They use their tongues to hold the
fish against spines in their palate, leaving their beaks free to open and catch more fish.
When puffins are just feeding themselves, they tend to swallow the fish they catch while still underwater. When a
chick hatches, its parents take turns feeding it by carrying up to 30 small fish back to the burrow.
The average catch is 10 fish per trip, but the Audubon Society reports a record in Maine of
62 at once!