This is a tufted puffin, one of the many wildlife species I was excited about seeing when we traveled to Alaska last year. I had seen the many photographs of these beautiful birds and had my expectations set high on viewing and photographing. When will I ever learn, I know I am to old it's to late to learn.
We did see many puffins on our two cruises but they were always far away for there size and are a little scared of boats. Only being able to get so close to them there size and the fact that the ship is swaying as much as twelve feet side to side causing me to shoot with one hand and hold the groceries in with the other this is the best shot I got.
It was still a great time and even though I didn't get the photographs I expected I really enjoyed watching them. Maybe next time I can get better shots. We still need to do the inner passage and that area of Alaska.
For more information on the Tufted Puffin and his relatives visit these sites; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tufted_Puffin, http://www.mnh.si.edu/arctic/html/puffin.html, http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/pubs/notebook/bird/puffins.php, http://www.projectpuffin.org/species.html