First record of horned puffin in the North Atlantic and tufted puffin in High Arctic Greenland

  • Kurt K. Burnham High Arctic Institute, Orion, IL, USA
  • Jennifer L. Burnham Department of Geography, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, USA
  • Jeff A. Johnson Department of Biological Sciences, Institute of Applied Sciences, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
  • Bridger W. Konkel High Arctic Institute, Orion, IL, USA
  • Jack Stephens High Arctic Institute, Orion, IL, USA
  • Hannah Badgett High Arctic Institute, Orion, IL, USA
Keywords: Transarctic movement, sea ice, North-west Passage, range shift, Fratercula corniculate, Fratercula cirrhata


An accelerating decrease in summer sea-ice extent in the Arctic Ocean and Canadian Arctic Archipelago (North-west Passage) is predicted to increase the movement of species between the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. Here we report observations of two Subarctic North Pacific puffin species in the North Atlantic near the coast of north-west Greenland. We observed a horned puffin (Fratercula corniculata) repeatedly during the summer months of 2002–06 and 2013–19 and a single tufted puffin (F. cirrhata) in 2019. While single tufted puffins have been observed a few times in the North Atlantic, this is the first record of a horned puffin in the North Atlantic, and the first record for both horned and tufted puffins in north-west Greenland. In 2019, both puffin species were observed simultaneously at an Atlantic puffin (F. arctica) colony.


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How to Cite
Burnham, K. K., Burnham, J. L., Johnson, J. A., Konkel, B. W., Stephens, J., & Badgett, H. (2020). First record of horned puffin in the North Atlantic and tufted puffin in High Arctic Greenland. Polar Research, 39.
Research Notes