17 July 2009

Shiants OAP

Old Age Puffin that is...

The Shiant Auk Ringing Group has just got back from a record-breaking expedition. The group broke the British longevity record when they caught a 32 year old Puffin (EX08155) on 5 July, originally ringed on the island in June 1977. Incredibly EX08155 was originally ringed by Ian Buxton (below), who was also a member of this year’s team: bird and man reunited 32 years later!

But the group beat their own record just five days later, when Ian recaught EB73152, originally ringed in June 1975. This makes it over 34 years old: older than three of this year’s expedition members! This is now also the oldest Puffin in Europe, beating an Icelandic bird of 33 years old.

Amazingly, it not only still had its original metal ring (below, looking good after 34 years), but also its colour ring, allowing it to be identified as a Shiants bird ‘in the field’.

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