by Wildlife Guide Auður
Puffins are, in our opinion, the cutest birds in the world. Puffins are one of the most common birds in Iceland during their breeding season, although they are considered an endangered species worldwide. They can be found all over Iceland and just outside Reykjavik; we even have an island named Puffin Island. The puffin generally lives on the open ocean, only setting foot on land during mating and puffling season. You can see puffins in Iceland from April to September. Check out our Instagram for some lovely pics of this cute bird!
Clowns of the sea
It’s their most famous attribute, the puffins’ colorful kind of clownish look. But did you know puffins change colors over the year? During the breeding season, they are at their most colorful with beaks in red, orange, yellow, and black. After the mating season, they start to molt, the beak’s color becomes duller, and the white feathers turn gray.
The puffin goes by many nicknames like clowns of the sea and sea parrots in English. A common Icelandic nickname for the puffin is Prófastur which means preacher referring to the fact that their colorful beaks look like a pastor’s gown.
The olympian of birds
The puffin is a small bird by the standards of its family, the auk family. Despite being small, only about 25-29 cm (10-11.5 inches) and 500 grams (1 lb), the puffins can soar in the sky at 88 km/h (55 mph) and dive 60 meters (200 feet) for 1.5 minutes. Talk about an all-rounded athlete. They also live very long lives compared to other birds. The most extended life a puffin has lived we humans have recorded was 38 years old! The average puffin lives about 20-25 years. They can also carry around 20 fish in their beak at a time!
Seeing puffins with Sea trips
Now that you know all about puffins, it’s time to go out and see one for yourself. On our RIB speedboat tours, you can get up close and personal with the puffin colonies near the Reykjavik islands. You can book a RIB puffins tour HERE! If the speedboat is not your style, why not opt for our Whale watching tour by yacht, where you can see both puffins and whales combined! Our expert guides will be happy to show you and tell you all about the marine and bird life in Faxaflói bay, and we look forward to meeting you!