are amazing animals. Except during nesting, puffins spend most of their
lives on the open ocean. These beautiful birds are very good swimmers,
which allows them to catch their diet of small fish. Their short wings
allow them to be more agile in the water, but these wings give less
in the air than most other flying birds. In flight they have been compared
to flying cigars, although they are good flyers. Their ability in the
water is impressive and they literally catch their fish dinners by
swimming their prey. Tufted puffins are one type of puffin commonly found
in Kenai Fjords National Park. Adults are 15 inches in length and they
weigh about two pounds. They get their names from their comedically
eyebrows. Puffins depend on their feathers to hold air in and keep water
out. This makes the birds what you might consider "waterproof",
thus allowing them to survive in these frigid waters. When a puffin
on the surface splashing around, he is maintaining his feathery coat.
This preening is critical to the puffin's survival. In addition to
puffins have to eat a lot of fish to maintain their body temperature.
A Murre, a seabird often found swimming alongside puffins, eats 40%
its body weight in fish everyday!
you don't go on a cruise to see these birds, be sure to visit the Alaska
SeaLife Center in Seward. If you want to see the birds in both the wild
and swimming underwater without having to get wet, do both!