Seattle Aquarium welcomes adorable new addition: a tufted puffling!

The Seattle Aquarium got a little (or a lot) cuter on August 3 when we welcomed a new tufted puffin chick, aka a “puffling!” This fluffball is the first puffling chick to hatch at the Aquarium since 2019.

The doting parents are longtime bonded pair Dora (who wears a yellow band on her left leg) and Boots (who sports red and blue bands). Tufted puffins generally mate for life and raise one chick at a time. Couples share parenting duties, like nest building, egg incubation and feeding their chick.

Like most animals, birds are vulnerable when they are young. Sadly, in the wild, many tufted pufflings don’t survive to adulthood. At the Aquarium, this chick is benefiting from a protected space and top-notch care from both animal and human caretakers. Dora and Boots, along with our dedicated Birds & Mammals team, have been keeping a close watch on the little one.

So far, the chick has a healthy appetite and is doing well. Talk about a tough little puff!

Privacy for the puffling

Dora, Boots and their little one have a nest in a secluded burrow in the upper section of their habitat. The chick will stay out of sight for a while, taking time to grow. Our team expects the puffling to fledge, or leave the burrow and join other members of the habitat, this fall.

In the meantime, Aquarium guests can check out other seabirds in the Birds & Shores habitat. You might even catch Dora or Boots gathering fish to bring to the chick or just taking a rest. Parents need breaks too!

To learn more about tufted puffins, aka the “parrots of the sea,” check out their fact page.

P.S. Our Birds and Mammals team is still deciding on a name for the little fuzzball. Keep an eye out on the Aquarium’s social media channels for the name reveal!


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