Predators are a natural part of life. And while uber adorable puffins also have predators. Each puffin has its own set of predators.
What are the puffin predators? What preys on Puffins?
Predators of the Atlantic puffin include people; gulls and skuas including the Great Black-backed Gull, the Great Skua, the Herring Gull amongst others; rats; cats; dogs; and foxes. Puffins are also vulnerable to pollution, fishing nets, declining fish populations, and global warming.
Predators of the Tufted Puffins include people, unfortunately. Tufted Puffins have three major predators the Snowy Owl, Bald Eagles and Arctic Foxes. They are also vulnerable due to decreasing fish population, ocean pollution and oil spills.
Predators of the Horned Puffin include people as well. Horned Puffins also are preyed upon by gulls, foxes, larger predatory birds and rats. Traffic, oil spills, ocean pollution, over-fishing and the resulting declining fish population as well as global warming are also affecting their survival rate.
Puffins do have some unique abilities to protect themselves from predators. Their bill is very hard and colorful to warn other animals of the pain it can cause. For predators flying above puffins blend into the water while swimming which they do more often than not. This is due to their black backs, heads and sides. Underwater, the puffin also has an advantage. The underwater predators are fooled by the puffin’s white bellies mistaking them for glimpses of the sun.