ATLANTIC PUFFIN

Fratercula arctica
Frailecillo atlántico
English: Atlantic Puffin.
German: Papageitaucher.
French: Macareux moine.
Order: Charadriiformes.
Family: Alcidae.
26-29 cm.
Due to its colorful and distinctive beak, the Atlantic Puffin is not confused with any other species.
Plumage is not a variable to consider for sexing this species.
It is possible to recognize a minimum of 3 different ages:

Atlantic Puffins, like most birds, go through different stages of development. Generally, they reach sexual maturity around 4 to 6 years of age. Before reaching maturity, they go through a “subadult” period, during which they gradually acquire their adult plumage. During this time, they may not breed and often spend their time at sea. Once they obtain their adult plumage, they are considered fully mature and ready to breed.

Juvenile specimen: They have a grayish beak with a non-triangular shape. The legs are tinged with a yellowish tone. Dark gray between the beak and around the eye (lores), and whitish tones on the lower cheek and behind the auricles.

Subadult specimen: has plumage closer to the adult’s winter plumage. Its beak has more muted colors and has not yet reached adult size. It lacks lines on the beak, which (more or less) correspond to age, although it’s not infallible. Subadult individuals, although not sexually mature, in spring display breeding plumage, but with more muted beak colors than adults. They also have the recognizable eye triangle.

Adult specimen: during winter, the beak is less colorful, with more muted tones and slightly smaller than in the breeding season. The facial plumage transitions from very dark tones (almost black) in the lores area to a light gray on the auricles. During the breeding and summer months, their appearance changes significantly. The beak reaches its maximum size and color intensity. They have several lines on the beak (on the outer part) bathed in intense red. The facial plumage transforms into a clean white, highlighting the characteristic eye triangle.
The molting of the Atlantic Puffin generally occurs after the breeding season. The exact timing can vary among individuals and populations, but it usually takes place from late summer to early autumn. This timing allows the birds to complete their reproductive tasks before investing energy in feather replacement.
Primaries: 10 per wing.
Secundaries: 17-18 per wing.
Rectrices: 12-16.
Ilustraciones: Sylvática Ilustración.

La obtención de este material ha sido posible gracias al permiso necesario de la Junta de Andalucía.

AUTORIZACIÓN DE LA DIRECCIÓN GENERAL DE MEDIO NATURAL, BIODIVERSIDAD Y ESPACIOS PROTEGIDOS DE LA CONSEJERÍA DE AGRICULTURA, GANADERÍA, PESCA Y DESARROLLO SOSTENIBLE DE LA JUNTA DE ANDALUCÍA, PARA LA CESIÓN DE MUESTRAS BIOLÓGICAS DE ESPECIES DE FAUNA (ARTÍCULO 9 DE LA LEY 8/2003, DE 28 DE OCTUBRE, DE LA FLORA Y LA FAUNA SILVESTRES).

Medidas/Measures

frailecillo atlántico
Adult specimen:
Beak tip to pupil center:
Tarsus:

Age. Head design

Adult specimen. Winter plumage

 

1.- Right wing primaries. 2.- Details of the inner vane of outer primaries (P10-P6). 3.- Details of the inner vane of outer primaries (P10-P6). 4.- Details of the inner vane of inner primaries (P5-P1). 5.- Details of the tip of outer primaries (P10-P6). 6.- Details of the tip of P6, P5, P4, P3, and P2. 7.- Primaries. 8.- Details of the primaries. 9.- Details of the shaft of primaries. 10.- Details of the primaries. 11.- Details of the outer vane of primaries. 12.- Secondaries (S1-S8). 13.- Secondaries (S9-S17). 14.- Details of the inner vane of S1, S2, S3, and S4. 15.- Details of the inner vane of S5, S6, S7, and S8. 16.- Details of the inner vane of S11, S12, and S13. 17.- Details of the inner vane of S14, S15, S16, and S17. 18.- Right wing secondaries and tertials. 19.- Details of the shaft of secondaries. 20.- Details of the tertials. 21.- Details of the tip of secondaries. 22.- Details of the outer vane of secondaries. 23.- Right wing primaries, secondaries, and tertials. 24.- Right wing primaries, secondaries, and tertials. 25.- Primaries, secondaries, and tertials. Primary coverts and greater coverts. 26.- Details of primary coverts. 27.- Details of the tip of primary coverts. 28.- Details of greater coverts. 29.- Details of greater coverts. 30.- Primaries, secondaries, and tertials. Primary coverts, greater coverts + median coverts. 31.- Details of median + greater coverts + secondaries. 32.- Details of median + greater coverts + secondaries. 33.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary coverts and secondary coverts (G, M, and L). Alulas. 34.- Details of secondary coverts. 35.- Details of lesser coverts. 36.- Details of secondary coverts + secondaries. 37.- Primary coverts. 38.- Greater coverts. 39.- Alulas. 40.- Rectrices. 41.- Details of rectrices. 42.- Details of rectrices. 43.- Rectrices. 44.- Details of the shaft of rectrices. 45.- Details of the tip of rectrices. 46.- Rectrices + uppertail coverts. 47.- Details of uppertail coverts. 48.- Uppertail coverts. 49.- Rectrices + undertail coverts. 50.- Undertail coverts. 51.- Top: Primary infracoverts. Bottom: Median primary infracoverts. 52.- Greater secondary infracoverts. 53.- Feathers of the right armpit. 54.- Assembly of the right scapula. 55.- Feathers of the scapula. 56.- Assembly of the right flank. 57.- Feathers of the right flank. 58.- Feathers of the chest and belly. 59.- Top: High back feathers. Bottom: Low back feathers. 60.- Auricular feathers. 61.- Crown feathers.

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