Tofino Birdwatching Information: Tufted Puffins
When bird watching in Tofino people may think of Eagles and Oystercatchers—but from June to September—Tufted Puffins rule the rookery.
Here are some interesting puffin facts. These important and interesting animals may be seen on a summer eco tour in Tofino with WCAS Whale Watching. A unique opportunity that comes with birdwatching in Tofino is the proximity to one of the largest nesting areas in the world on Triangle Island. In the summer months keen bird spotters can see these unique animals as they transit and hunt to feed their hatchlings from June to September around Tofino.
- Puffins belong to a group of birds called Alcids. They serve a similar role to penguins in the ecosystem however they only live in the Northern Hemisphere.
- The Tufted Puffin is the largest puffin and is recognizable by the long, golden-hued feathers that extend back from its crown during mating season.
- Puffins are colonial nesters meaning they require a nest site that is surrounded by nests of similar birds. The places where these nests are clustered are called rookeries.
- Not shy to show off, during the breeding season Tufted Puffin bills become intensely colored.
- Puffins may dive deeper than 24 m (80 ft.) to catch fish. Their bills have specialised serrations that help to hold fish. One puffin was seen holding 62 fish in its bill at one time!
- Fast and far. Puffins beat their wings 300-400 times a minute to achieve speeds up to 64 kph (40 mph). Puffins usually fly a maximum of 48 kilometers (30 miles) at a time when hunting or migrating.
- Incidental capture in drift-net fisheries that still operate in some waters is a major threat to Puffin populations.
Tofino wildlife tour tip: Not all whale watching tours in Tofino are the same. Comfort and amenities vary greatly by boat type. Get the most boat for your buck with West Coast Aquatic Safaris Tofino. All our boats include onboard bathrooms for your comfort and convenience.
Discover more about Tofino’s best whale and wildlife watching boats.