Europe’s oldest Puffin

Europe’s oldest Puffin is alive and well in Scotland BTO bird ringers on an expedition to a remote island off the west coast of Scotland have found the two oldest Puffins in Britain. One of these OAPs (Old Age Puffins), at 34 years of age, is also the oldest currently known in Europe.

The expedition, to the Shiant Isles, broke the British longevity record for Puffin on 5 July 2009 when they caught EX08155, which was originally ringed on the island on 27 June 1977. EX08155 was originally ringed by Ian Buxton, also a member of this year’s team, so he was reunited with the same bird 32 years later! But this record was topped just five days later on 10 July, when Ian recaught EB73152, originally ringed on 28 June 1975, making it over 34 years old (older than three of this year’s expedition members). This is now the oldest recorded Puffin in Europe, beating an Icelandic bird at 33 years old. Amazingly, it not only still had its original metal ring, but also its colour ring, allowing it to be identified as a Shiants bird ‘in the field’.

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