Norway’s most iconic bird

Skull of an Atlantic puffin, Fratercula artica, in the collections of the University Museum of Bergen.

The Atlantic puffin, Fratercula artica, is probably Norway’s most iconic bird. One of the best places to spot them is on Runde Island, which is the southernmost breeding colony in Norway. Puffins have a distinctive bill that changes color throughout the year as well as the bird’s life. The colorful part of the bill is also called the rhamphotheca, and is made of keratin, similar to our hair and nails. During the skeleton preparation process, the rhamphotheca is often lost, but the bony beak underneath still reflects its typical shape.

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