Fratercula corniculata - (Naumann, 1821)
Horned Puffin
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Fratercula corniculata (Naumann, 1821) (TSN 177029)
French Common Names: Macareux cornu
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101883
Element Code: ABNNN12030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Charadriiformes Alcidae Fratercula
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Fratercula corniculata
Taxonomic Comments: Constitutes a superspecies with F. arctica (AOU 1983).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 23Dec1997
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Very large population size, many occurrences, little apparent threat.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (19Mar1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N2B,N2N,N2M (07Dec2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alaska (S5), Oregon (SNA), Washington (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (S2B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: islands and coasts of Chukchi and Bering seas from Diomede Islands and Cape Lisburne south to the Aleutian Islands; from the Alaska Peninsula south to British Columbia; northeastern Siberia to the Kurile Islands; also Cooper Island, just east of Point Barrow, Alaska (see Johnson and Herter 1989). NON-BREEDING: open sea, breeding range south (casually) to Hawaii, California, Japan (AOU 1983).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: In North America, 435 known nesting sites in 1970's (Johnsgard 1987).

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Minimum estimate of 1,500,000 birds for North American populations (Johnsgard 1987). 1970's estimates: 1.5 million birds (conservative, no population estimates in some areas, 435 known colonies in Alaska.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Potential threat from oil spills in non-breeding season. Some Alaska populations may have been depleted by introduced foxes. Many are killed in Japanese gill-net fishery in the North Pacific (Lensink 1982, King, 1984).

Short-term Trend Comments: Overall population is assumed to be stable (Lensink 1984). Recently expanded breeding range into British Columbia (less than 100 breeders) (Johnsgard 1987; Kaiser, in Hyslop and Kennedy 1992).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: islands and coasts of Chukchi and Bering seas from Diomede Islands and Cape Lisburne south to the Aleutian Islands; from the Alaska Peninsula south to British Columbia; northeastern Siberia to the Kurile Islands; also Cooper Island, just east of Point Barrow, Alaska (see Johnson and Herter 1989). NON-BREEDING: open sea, breeding range south (casually) to Hawaii, California, Japan (AOU 1983).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, OR, WA
Canada BC

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002

Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A seabird (puffin).
Reproduction Comments: Most laying mid-June to early July in Alaska. Clutch size 1. Incubation 38-43 days (average 40), by both sexes. Young tended by both parents, fledges in 37-46 days (average 40). Frequently nests in large colony. See Johnsgard (1987).
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Marine Habitat(s): Pelagic
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree, Cliff
Habitat Comments: NON-BREEDING: mostly pelagic (AOU 1983). BREEDING: Nests on rocky coasts and islands, in cliff crevices and among boulders, rarely in ground burrows (AOU 1983). Has attempted breeding in boxes set out for black guillemots in northern Alaska (see Johnson and Herter 1989). Undoubtedly often uses same nest site in successive years.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Feeds primarily on small fishes (e.g., sticklebacks, smelt, sand launces); cephalopods, crustaceans, and polychaetes usually secondary. Dives from ocean surface, forages underwater. See Wehle (1983) for feeding of young in Alaska.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Colonial Breeder: Y
Length: 38 centimeters
Weight: 619 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Colonial Seabirds

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Breeding Colony
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding , or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Mapping Guidance: Map foraging areas as separate polygons if they are separated from the breeding colony by areas simply flown over on commuting routes.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: Where colonies are closer than 5 kilometers, separate occurrences may be created if research shows little genetic mixing between colonies.
Separation Justification: Occurrences include nesting and foraging areas, but occurrence separations are based on nesting areas (i.e., distance between nesting areas, regardless of foraging locations). Hence, different occurrences may overlap.

Occurrences are not based on discrete populations or metapopulations. Instead, the separation distance is arbitrarily small such that occurrences are of of practical size for data management purposes.

Evidence from a number of species of seabirds indicates that even though the 'home ranges' of individual nesting seabirds may be immense when foraging trips are taken into account, little movement or feeding overlap may occur between nearby colonies. For example, Thick-billed Murres may commute up to 170 kilometers one way on a feeding trip from the colony, but birds from a colony only 8 kilometers away may forage in a completely different direction; even birds from different sub-colonies only 1.5 kilometers apart mostly fed in completely separate areas (Gaston and Hipfner 2000).

Most seabirds have strong breeding site fidelity; e.g., Thick-billed Murres (Gaston and Hipfner 2000, Gaston et al. 1994), Gray-backed Tern (Mostello et al. 2000), Red-footed Booby (Schreiber et al. 1996).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Somewhat arbitrary, but generally very conservative for this group, many members of which travel long distances to foraging grounds.
Date: 20Oct2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Feeding area, Loafing site, Roosting site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of flocks of nonbreeding birds (including historical), including nonbreeding birds within the breeding season and breeding individuals outside the breeding season; and potential recurring presence at a given location. Normally only areas where concentrations greater than 25 birds regularly occur for more than 20 days per year would be deemed EOs; the number of individuals may be reduced for very rare species. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance arbitrary; defined this small to aid in conservation planning. Sites more than 10 kilometers apart may be joined as one occurrence if research shows that predominantly the same individuals are using both sites.
Date: 07Mar2001
Author: Cannings, S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Mehlman, D.W.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 22Mar1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1983. Check-list of North American Birds, 6th edition. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas. 877 pp.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.

  • Bent, A.C. 1919. Life histories of North American diving birds. U.S. Natl. Mus. Bull. 107. Washington, D.C.

  • Fraser, D. F., W. L. Harper, S. G. Cannings, and J. M. Cooper. 1999. Rare birds of British Columbia. Wildlife Branch and Resources Inventory Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Victoria, BC. 244pp.

  • Gaston, A. J., and J. M. Hipfner. 2000. Thick-billed Murre (Uria lomvia). No. 497 IN A. Poole and F. Gill, editors, The birds of North America. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. 32pp.

  • Gaston, A. J., et al. 1994. Population parameters of thick-billed murres at Coats Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. Condor 96:935-948.

  • Gaston, A.J. 1996. Conservation issues and Canadian Wildlife Service priorities for marine birds. Canadian Wildlife Service. 32 pp.

  • Godfrey, W. E. 1986. The birds of Canada. Revised edition. National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa. 596 pp. + plates.

  • Golovkin, A. N. 1984. Seabirds nesting in the USSR: the status and protection of populations. Pages 473-486 in Croxall et al., eds. Status and conservation of the world's seabirds. ICBP Tech. Pub. No. 2.

  • Harrison, C. 1978. A Field Guide to the Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North American Birds. Collins, Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Hatch, S. A., and M. A. Hatch. 1990. Breeding seasons of oceanic birds in a subarctic colony. Can. J. Zool. 68:1664-1679.

  • Hyslop, C., and J. Kennedy, editors. 1992. Bird trends: a report on results of national ornithological surveys in Canada. Number 2, Autumn 1992. Migratory Birds Conservation Division, Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario. 20 pp.

  • Johnsgard, P. A. 1987. Diving birds of North America. Univ. Nebraska Press, Lincoln. xii + 292 pp.

  • Johnson, S. R. and D. R. Herter. 1989. The Birds of the Beaufort Sea. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., Anchorage, Alaska. 372 pp.

  • King, W. B. 1984. Incidental mortality of seabirds in gillnets in the North Pacific. Pages 709-715 in Croxall et al., eds. Status and conservation of the world's seabirds. ICBP Tech. Pub. No. 2.

  • Lensink, C. J. 1984. The status and conservation of seabirds in Alaska. Pages 13-27 in Croxall et al., eds. Status and conservation of the world's seabirds. ICBP Tech. Publ. No. 2.

  • Mostello, C. S., N. A. Palaia, and R. B. Clapp. 2000. Gray-backed Tern (Sterna lunata). No. 525 in A. Poole and F. Gill (editors). The birds of North America. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. 28 pp.

  • National Geographic Society (NGS). 1983. Field guide to the birds of North America. National Geographic Society, Washington, DC.

  • Nettleship, D. N. 1996. Family Alcidae (auks). Pages 678-723 in J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, and J. Sargatal (Eds.) Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 3. Lynx Editions, Barcelona, Spain.

  • Poole, A. F. and F. B. Gill. 1992. The birds of North America. The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. and The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Schreiber, E. A., R. W. Schreiber, and G. A. Schenk. 1996. Red-footed Booby (Sula sula). No. 241 in A. Poole and F. Gill, editors. The birds of North America. The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The Amerian Ornithologists' Union, Washington, DC. 24 pp.

  • Sealy, S. G., editor. 1990. Auks at sea. Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, Studies in Avian Biology No. 14. vi + 180 pp.

  • Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • Wehle, D. H. S. 1983. The food, feeding, and development of young tufted and horned puffins in Alaska. Condor 85: 427-442.

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Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

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