What Sound Does a Puffin Make?

Puffins are generally very silent creatures but are known for their grunting and growling sounds in specific situations. For instance, baby puffins growl at other puffins who try to intrude into their burrows. Male puffins grunt to attract females during breeding.

Puffins are penguin-like creatures that are built to survive the frigid temperatures of their habitat in Iceland. This article covers puffin’s sounds and why it resembles a penguin. So, without further delay, let’s dive right in!

Does Puffin Bird Make Sound? What Sounds Do They Make?

Puffins are mostly silent creatures that don’t make any noises most of the time, especially at sea. But when they are on land, in their burrows, they make sounds resembling the “quack” of a duck but deeper.

The “puffin call” involves the male making a pig-like grunt to attract a female. The creaky grumble of these birds makes it sound like the bird is calling for a mate. ~ All About Birds

Puffins also make grumbling and growling sounds when under attack or when an unknown animal enters their burrow, which they perceive as a threat.

Watch this video to see what a puffin sounds like:

Did you know? Puffins are known for their communication through certain gestures. For instance, they clack their beaks together, a mating ritual also known as ‘billing.’ ~ Audubon Project Puffin

What Noise Does a Baby Puffin Make?

Baby puffins make peeping noises when they want food from their parents. These tiny birds often make tweeting noises to get their parent’s attention.

Fun Fact: Baby puffins are called ‘Pufflings.’ ~ All About Birds

They may also growl at invaders (i.e. other puffins) trying to enter their burrows.

See also  Do Puffins Migrate or Hibernate?

Did you know? Baby puffins consume a lot of food. So, both parents must supply their baby with food to keep it well-fed. Studies have shown that parents may dive 276 times to bring food back to their young. ~ National Geographic

What Sound Does an Atlantic Puffin Make?

The Atlantic puffin makes a very unique moaning sound. It can be described as an eerie, low, growling noise, a sound which is not expected of these kinds of birds.

They may also make loud growling calls from underground to attract mates for breeding which sounds like a nasal moaning call.

Apart from making noises to protect their burrows, puffins also walk with chests puffed out to assert ownership of their burrows. This is why they are called “Puffins.” ~ Source

Is a Puffin a Bird or a Penguin?

Puffins are not penguins. They are birds that belong to a different family than penguins. There are many other differences between the two animals.

puffin bird

If you look at a puffin and penguin closely, you will find several identical features, including their iconic black and white feather coloration and their diet. This is a major reason why some people assume the two birds are related.

Speaking scientifically, penguins belong to the Spheniscidae family, while puffins belong to the Alcidae family. ~ Source

Key differences between puffins and penguins

Other differences between puffins and penguins include the following:

●  Puffins can fly

Unlike penguins (which have solid bones), puffins have a hollow bone structure. This enables puffins to fly while penguins can only swim.

● Puffins are smaller than penguins

A key difference between penguins and puffins is their body weight and height.

See also  Can Puffins Swim or Fly?

Penguins can weigh up to 88 lbs and are between 15.7 inches to 43 in tall. On the other hand, puffins weigh between 18.3 and 35.3 oz. Puffins are about 4.2 to 15.8 inches tall. ~ Penguin Fact Sheet, Puffin Fact Sheet

● Different Habitat

Puffins live in the Northern hemisphere. On the contrary, the southern hemisphere is home to all 18 penguin species.

So, penguins and puffins are different creatures. Puffins are birds, while penguins are flightless animals.


Do puffins squawk?

Yes, Puffins can squawk. In fact, they are known for their vibrant beaks and squawking noises.

Do puffins cry?

Puffins do not cry, but they make low growling noises that do not sound like crying noises.


Puffins are penguin-like creatures known for their unique appearance that resembles a cartoon.

Their bright beaks and vibrant webbed feet set them apart from other birds. They are known as Fratercula, which literally translates to “little brother” in Latin.

This article cleared up your confusion about the sounds puffins make and what their vocalization may sound like.

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