Range. - North Atlantic Coast, breeding from the Bay of Fundy northward. Winters from breeding range along the New England Coast.
The common Puffin has the cheeks, chin and underparts white; upper parts and a band across the throat, blackish. Bill deep and thin, and colored with red, orange and yellow. They breed in large numbers on Bird Rock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The nest is either among the natural crevices of the rocks, or in burrows excavated in the ground by the birds. These burrows vary in length from two and a half to four or five feet. Except upon the positive knowledge of the absence of the bird, it is a hazardous thing to put the hand in one of these burrows for the bird can, and will nip the fingers, sometimes to the bone. They lay but a single egg, usually dull white and unmarked, but in some cases obscurely marked with reddish brown. Size 2.50 x 1.75. Data. - So. Labrador, June 23, 1884. Single egg laid at end of burrow in the ground. Collector, J. H. Jameson.
A more northerly subspecies of the last, inhabiting the Arctic region on the Atlantic side. The bird is somewhat larger but otherwise indistinguishable from the common species. The eggs are exactly the same or average a trifle larger. Size 2.55 x 1.80. Data. - Iceland, July 6, 1900. Single egg in hole under a rock. Collector, Chas. Jefferys.