Hurtigruten - Meet puffins, a northern bird-01.jpg

Meet puffins, a northern bird

While you can find puffins in places that aren't the Nordic countries, why would you?

While you can find puffins in places other than the Nordic countries, why would you want to? These adorable birds are plentiful in the region, and their habitats are beautiful. Indeed, the Atlantic puffin is an iconic part of Norwegian wildlife, and you're likely to see at least a few during your Norway cruise. Whether you take an excursion to watch the birds or simply keep a sharp eye out, puffins will appear as part of your cruise experience and are very likely to charm you. Let's learn a little about these birds:

Where are puffins?

According to the Norwegian Polar Institute, Atlantic puffins breed across the North Atlantic. When you see them in Svalbard,  most likely be nesting in holes in stones or the crevices of rocks. While they're ubiquitous in some places, they're the least common bird in Svalbard, breeding on steep cliffs with their mates and not partaking in much social activity. You can also go further south to the island of Runde and see puffins, which can be a less chilly experience - and one filled with tens of thousands of types of birds.

What are puffins like?
The Audubon Society has a useful comparison for what puffins weigh and how tall they are. Each bird is about the height of a quart jug of milk and weighs as much as a can of soda. In plainer terms, a puffin is around 10 inches tall and a mere one pound or so. They eat small fish, and what is on the menu differs depending on where the puffins are. Even though they may opt for crab during the winter, puffins love fish the most. They can carry many fish in their distinctive beaks at once.

They can also dive for up to a minute, swimming by using their wings as they do in flight and kicking with their feet. While you'd have to be underwater yourself to see it, the sight is marvelous by all accounts. The birds can also fly remarkably quickly, reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour and turning into a black-and-white blur in the air.

Where else are there puffins?
If you're charmed by these small, colorfully beaked birds, you may wish to seek them out in more places than just Svalbard and Runde. You're in luck, of course, as your next cruise travel could take you to Iceland, where most of the puffins in the world reside.

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