13 Amaze-wing Facts About The Horned Puffin For Kids

Horned Puffin facts about the popular North American breeding birds.

The Horned Puffin (Fratercula corniculata) is a kind of auk found in the North Pacific Ocean, including Alaska, Siberia, and British Columbia. Puffins are members of the alcid family, a group of diving birds that dive underwater with their wings propelled and their feet steering. The horned and tufted puffins both nest in Kenai Fjords National Park. These species are found across the Pacific Ocean in regions like the Shumagin Islands of the Bering Sea, the Siberian coast, Kamchatka, and Sakhalin. In Canada, the Horned Puffin habitat expands over Alaska and British Columbia.

The habitat of Horned Puffin (Fratercula corniculata) is on rocky cliffs and offshore islands during the breeding season while during the non-breeding season they reside along the continental shelf. Here are a few interesting facts on Horned Puffins, which you will certainly like. Afterward, do check our other articles on the tufted puffin and American bittern as well.

Horned Puffin

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Small fish

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

1 egg

How much do they weigh?

1.4-1.43 lb (635-648.6 g)

How long are they?

11-12 in (27.9-30.5 cm)

How tall are they?

Wingspan: 22-24 in (55.9-61 cm)

What do they look like?

Black, white, and yellow colored feathers with black horn-like lines

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Habitat loss

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Steep rocks


North Pacific Ocean





Scientific Name

Fratercula corniculata





Horned Puffin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Horned Puffin?

The Horned Puffin (Fratercula corniculata) is a bird that looks a lot like a pigeon found in the North Pacific Ocean, Siberia, and Columbia. It is a pelagic seabird that hunts for fish by diving.

What class of animal does a Horned Puffin belong to?

The Horned Puffin belongs to the bird class of the animal kingdom. These nesting birds are part of the Alcidae family.

How many Horned Puffins are there in the world?

The global population of Horned Puffins is believed to be 1,200,000 individuals. Approximately 300,000 are in Asia, while the remaining 900,000 are in North America, with a high concentration of 760,000 on the Alaska Peninsula. Nearly 250,000 puffins live in 608 separate colonies in Alaska, the majority of which is on Suklik Island. The Aleutian Islands have almost 92,000 Horned Puffins, while the Sea of Okhotsk has about 300,000 on its islands and coasts. In Canada, the Horned Puffin range of habitat expands over Alaska and British Columbia.

Where does a Horned Puffin live?

Horned Puffins live in colonies on rocky cliffs and steep rocky slopes. Unlike the Tufted Puffin, these nesting birds do not dig burrows and instead prefer rock crevices or nests under piles of rock for home and shelter.

What is a Horned Puffin's habitat?

Horned Puffins colonies make their nest in burrows or crevices on sea cliffs in the ocean, like the Atlantic Puffin. During the summer, puffins are generally found in ocean waters near the shores of nesting islands; during other seasons, this bird species can be found further inland. It primarily nests on rocky islands.

Who do Horned Puffins live with?

These nesting birds live and move in large numbers and in patterns resembling a wheel, making it difficult for a bird of prey like bald eagles and peregrine falcons to locate and target a human.

How long does a Horned Puffin live?

Horned Puffins can live for up to 20 years, almost similar to the Atlantic Puffin birds. The oldest Horned Puffins to ever live the longest is up to 36 years.

How do they reproduce?

The Horned Puffin birds achieve sexual maturity between the ages of five and seven years and begins breeding from May to September. Pairs of Horned Puffins are monogamous. Horned Puffins come to land to lay their eggs in the nest. The return of puffins to their nest on offshore islands demonstrates the year-to-year fluctuation in productivity cycles in nearshore waters. A puffin breeding pair expends all of its energies on only one egg.

What is their conservation status?

While the Horned Puffin is still plentiful in Alaska, it has certainly declined on certain islands where foxes or rodents have been introduced. Puffins are thought to be more susceptible to the effects of oil spills. But in terms of conservation status, they are Least Concern at present.

Horned Puffin Fun Facts

What do Horned Puffin look like?

The Horned Puffin is a small bird, about the size of a pigeon, with black upper sides and white chest and undersides. It has a white face and cheeks, a tiny black horn over its eyes, and a narrow, dark line running from the corners of its eyes to the nape of its neck. Its bill is a broad triangular orange with a red tip. It has webbed feet with nails on the ends and light orange legs.

During the breeding season, Horned Puffins reside on sea cliffs or rocky islets.

How cute are they?

Horned Puffins look so adorable. Though these North American birds have penguin-like coloring, this sea bird species sports a colorful beak that has led some to dub them the sea parrot.

How do they communicate?

Horned Puffins communicate by body gestures in a number of situations. Puffins will team up for mating and courtship before arriving on the island from the sea. Once on land, the pair can engage in billing, a practice in which puffins rub their beaks together.

How big is a Horned Puffin?

The Horned Puffin is three times bigger than an average pigeon. The length of a Horned Puffin is anywhere in the range of 11-12 in (27.9-30.5 cm).

How fast can a Horned Puffin fly?

A Horned Puffin can fly at a speed of 40 mph (64.1 kph).

How much does a Horned Puffin weigh?

An average Horned Puffin weighs in the range of 1.4-1.43 lb (635-648.6 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the male and female names for Horned Puffin. Horned Puffin male and Horned Puffin female are the common names used for these birds.

What would you call a baby Horned Puffin?

A Horned Puffin baby is referred to as a puffling.

What do they eat?

Horned Puffins eat mostly fish when breeding and raising their young ones, taking back a beak full of sand lance fish and capelin fish to their young.

Are they aggressive?

Overall, this species has a calm demeanor. The Horned Puffin’s breeding habits aren't as hostile as those of other seabirds, and this species is more concerned about humans than anything else. Despite their adorable waddling, puffins around the world are facing some serious environmental problems.

Would they make a good pet?

Most countries consider keeping them as pets illegal, including the United States and Canada, where this species is covered under special laws. And it's not almost as much fun as you imagine it is. Puffins, like penguins, cannot be housebroken, so they poop anywhere they choose!

Did you know...

Tiny fish are carried crosswise in the bill of the Horned Puffin and delivered to the nestlings. One individual was seen holding 65 fish at the same time.

In contrast to other puffins, which only live in burrows, Horned Puffins nest in rock crevices and on cliffs.

Why is the Horned Puffin endangered?

Changes in the range and abundance of small fish are the most dangerous to puffins, but land pests like mouse, mink, and cat introduced into breeding colonies and noise are also serious threats.

How did puffins get their name?

The term puffin is believed to be derived from the word puff, which means bloated. Fratercula arctica is the scientific name for the puffin, which means little brother of the north in Latin. Little brother refers to the puffin as a little friar, due to its black and white plumage, which is reminiscent of a friar's robes. Since the Horned Puffin has a horn shape on its face it is named the Horned Puffin.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our willow flycatcher fun facts, and metallic starling surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our fHorned Puffin coloring pages.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
No items found.