Another awesome critter that charms nature photographers when they make their way to Alaska is the horned puffin (Fratercula corniculata). These comical members of the auk family nest in rocky colonies along the coasts of Siberia, Alaska and British Columbia.
Similar in looks to the Atlantic puffin, the horned puffin is larger and lacks blue coloring in his beak. They are named for the fleshy horn above their eye.
Horned puffin are monogamous and raise one chick per breeding season. We thought that by the time we visited all of the chicks would have fledged. Only a few adults remained on the rocky colony, most were out at sea. As we took one last cruise around the puffin colony we found this last little fledgling ready to join his friends at sea. I loved seeing his little beak - looking similar to the over-sized paws on a golden retriever puppy. Super cute!