Tufted Puffin, Fratercula cirrhata
The Tufted Puffin, above, swimming, and below, taking off, is famous for the spectacular large orange bill which it shares with other puffin species, inspiring the nickname "sea parrot." The white face and yellow plumes mark this species' breeding plumage; the head is plain dark gray during the non-breeding season, when Tufted Puffins live at sea, see bottom of page. A hundred or so pairs nest on the South Farallon Islands in the Pacific Ocean west of San Francisco, the southernmost nesting colony for this bird of the northern ocean.
Tufted Puffins roosting on the island cliffs; they nest here in rock crevices, like the one bottom center with the partially visible bird.
A rare picture of a Tufted Puffin in non-breeding plumage, this one photographed in late October southeast of the Farallon Islands, where the birds nest.