34 and counting…

mark newell guill

The oldest British lived Guillemot; second from left (Mark Newell)

North end Guill

Stunning Guillemot on the Isle of May

Friday 22nd April comments: So just how old can seabirds live? Well that question was discussed yesterday as professor Mike Harris discovered a Guillemot on the Isle of May cliffs which had been ringed on the island as an adult in 1982! That was the year the Falklands dominated the news, Italy won the football World Cup and the cost of a pint of beer was 73p!!

Its staggering to believe as this bird is now at least 34 years old (as it was ringed as an adult and therefore lived for longer) and eclipses the previous longevity record for the UK of a Guillemot ringed on Fair Isle in 1979 which was found freshly dead in Sweden in 2011 making that bird 32 years of age.

Seabirds are incredibly long lived and even now we are still discovering so many new fascinating facts about the lives of these birds. All part of the science and another reason why the Isle of May is so important.

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