2013 86¢ Tufted Puffin
Issue Date: January 23, 2013
City: Seward, AK
Printed By: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
Perforations: Die Cut 11 ¼ X 10 ¾
The Tufted Puffin stamp proved so popular it was reprinted. This second printing stamp has dots in the “Tufted Puffins,” “86,” and the “2013” is black.
The Pacific Ocean gets an extra pop of color and character at the beginning of summer, as the tufted puffins approach their breeding season.
Named after their bright plumage (feathers), both male and female tufted puffins develop bright yellow tufts around their faces. Along with this change, their feet become bright red and their faces bright white. During the winter feeding season, the puffins’ tufts fall off and the bright coloring of the summer fades.
Although they spend their winters at sea, tufted puffins return to their birth colonies to breed with the same mates as the previous year. They find their way by a combination of sounds, smells, and visual cues.
Short wings and strong chest muscles allow tufted puffins to swim fast for long amounts of time in search of fish. When collecting food for their young, the puffins carefully arrange up to 20 fish in their bills to bring back to the nest.
Tufted puffins have strong nails that help them climb rocky cliffs and dig the burrows in which they live. Pairs create their nests by burrowing holes in the ground or in rock crevices – from two to seven feet deep.
Throughout their range along the Pacific Coast, tufted puffins build nests in colonies on islands or cliffs, away from predators. These colonies vary in number from just a few to over one million nests.