Join the Seattle Aquarium for Winter Fishtival, where we’ll feature different sea animals and fun activities each day. December 30 will be all about puffins, the diving birds often referred to as the clowns of the sea. Why? Keep reading to find out—and to discover a bit more about these charming birds!
Clown-like markings and colorful bills have earned puffins their nickname as the “clowns of the sea.” Contrary to popular belief, puffins aren’t related to penguins—puffins are from the family Alcidae and penguins are from the family Spheniscidae. Also, unlike penguins, puffins can fly (although they must flap their short, rounded wings quite quickly in order to stay airborne). While those wings may seem like a handicap in the air, they do double duty, serving as flippers when puffins dive underwater in search of fish to eat.
Learn more about puffins during Winter Fishtival— and watch our video to see some of the Seattle Aquarium’s friendly puffins rubbing their beaks together to show affection!