A horned puffin | Photo: Dick Daniels, Wikimedia Commons

A horned puffin has parked itself in Trinidad harbor over the last few days, and Humboldt’s bird-loving population is very excited over the once-in-a-lifetime local sighting. 

Belonging to the Alcidae family, horned puffins are black and white birds with large, vibrant yellow and orange beaks. Small horn-like spikes above their eyes, along with their tendency to nest on cliffs rather than underground burrows, set horned puffins apart from the other three species of puffin. 

With a migration range from north of Alaska to Washington, horned puffins travel far distances, but rarely this far. Kayak Trinidad owner Jason Self posted about the puffin sighting on his business’s Facebook page.

“As soon as word got out, bird lovers descended on Trinidad with their spotting scopes and we started getting messages from folks in Redding and Sacramento who were literally hopping in their cars to get here as quick as they could to see it,” Self told the Outpost in an email. “People have told us they’ve been trying to spot one for 30 and 40 years and this was their first sighting. I guess it’s a big deal for bird nerds!”

Check out our local puffin evidence, courtesy Nick Butterfield, below.

Video by Nick Butterfield