18 Jul 2009

Europe's oldest puffin, 34, found

2:03 pm on 18 July 2009

Ornithologists have found the oldest known puffin in Europe on an island off the west coast of Scotland.

The experts who were on a bird-ringing expedition in the Shiant Isles in the Hebrides said they have discovered a puffin first ringed over 34 years ago.

The puffin, caught on Rough Island, was re-captured by the same man who first ringed it and many others, on 28 June, 1975. The BBC reports another was found that was at least 32 years old.

Previously the longest-lived puffin was a 33-year-old from Iceland.

Members of the group have been visiting the Shiant islands since 1970 for the British Trust for Ornithology.

The trust says it's possible that even older puffins could be discovered in the next few years.