Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Puffin, any bird of the genus Fratercula of the Auk family. The Common Puffin (F. arctica) is common on both shores of the North Atlantic, visiting Britain in the spring and remaining to breed. The length is about a foot, the upper surface is black, and the under surface and a space round the eye white. From their large, gaily-coloured bills, the sheath of which is shed at the end of the breeding season, these birds are called Sea-Parrots and Coulternebs. They swim and dive well, and feed on fish and crustaceans. Their breeding-place is in a burrow, often stolen from a rabbit, and they lay but a single egg. The young birds, as well as the eggs, are used for food.