This past July, we were delighted to welcome two tufted puffin chicks to the Seattle Aquarium. Since then, they’ve been well cared for by their parents, and Aquarium staff have monitored their progress closely. Now the chicks are very close to leaving the nest and experiencing the exhibit on their own.
Tufted puffins are the largest members of the puffin species. They’re known for their broad orange bills, dark stocky bodies, orange legs and feet and—during breeding season—their white face “masks” and golden feather tufts alongside their heads. They reach sexual maturity between 3 and 5 years of age and usually mate for life. Shortly after the male and female pair up, they work together to dig a burrow and build a nest for their offspring.
It takes about 45 days for a tufted puffin egg to hatch. Chicks are covered with soft, downy fluff and cared for by both parents. As the weeks go by, the fluff is replaced with new feathers and the chicks grow much larger in size as they get closer and closer to being able to leave the nest.
Come look for our tufted puffin chicks during your next visit to the Seattle Aquarium—and check out our fact sheet to learn more about these amazing, charismatic birds!