|First I have to tell you some things about these cutie birds!!!
Mating: Puffins will pair up before they come to land from the ocean. Once they land, they rub their bills (billing) and everyone comes around to watch.
Aggression: Aggressive behavior often begins with an open-mouth gape then continues with a display where the puffin "puffs up", slightly opens it's bill (the wider the more agitated) and spreads it's wings. If this doensn' t work, then a fight ensues where the combatants lock bills and try to topple one another. This fight will gather a crowd. One way to tell the difference between fighting and billing is in a fight a puffin will also use their their feet and wings in the flurry of the action. Puffins are known to get some involved in a fight that they fall off the rocky cliff they were fighting over.
Since the weather was cold, windy and rainy, we had the opportunity to see more puffins and in larger groups than people normally get to see on these trips. When it's sunny, the rocks heat the birds up quickly. Today, nothing was warm.
Atlantic puffins seem almost clownish because of their short stature and the bright colors on their bills and feet. These colors are important for them for breeding purposes though. During the winter, their beaks and feet are a dull grey color, but during breeding season, they older and healthier a puffin is, the bigger and brighter its beak is. A big bright beak is something puffins desire in a potential mate. The large the beak, the more food a puffin can catch and carry - they average 10 fish per trip, and the known record is 62 fish! They have spikes in the top of their bill and when they catch fish, they hold the fish against these spikes with their tongue.