Puffins taking baths

I always thought of puffins as fairly dignified birds. They look sleek and posed in the photos you usually see, like statues of themselves. Recently, however, I discovered that to get that sleek, clean look, puffins take on some poses that would be quite hard to capture in a statue.

Just preening in a photogenic way....

Just preening in a photogenic way….



puffinbath_horned12puffinbath_horned13puffinbath_horned14puffinbath_horned15puffinbath_horned16These are all Horned Puffins in breeding plumage; notice the “horns” above their eyes. In the nonbreeding season, or as young birds, they lack the horns and look like they definitely need a bath.

Young Horned Puffin

Young Horned Puffin

Tufted Puffins look quite different, with long tufts of yellow feathers cascading back from their heads.

Tufted Puffin preening.

Tufted Puffin preening.


They too need to stay clean.


Sometimes they need to blow-dry.


Other birds also take action-packed baths.

Common Murre

Common Murre

Male King Eider

Male King Eider

But there’s something about those puffins that is hard to match.






All these photos were taken at the SeaLife Center in Seward, AK, which I cannot recommend highly enough.

3 thoughts on “Puffins taking baths

  1. Wow! They have to stay clean to keep warm? Or is there some bug that gets to them? I hope you’ll tell us more about them.

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