Record breakers: counting the years
We know that captive species can live a long time but some recorded wild birds can also exceed lifespan expectations.
LAYSAN ALBATROSS Phoebastria immutabilis AGE: 68
A female called Wisdom is the oldest known banded bird in the world. She nests on Midway Atoll. This species has a typical 12–40 year lifespan.
MANX SHEARWATER Puffinus puffinus AGE: 54
The oldest known wild bird in the UK was ringed in 1957 and was last seen in 2008. 30–40 years would be considered a good age for the species.
ARCTIC TERN Sterna paradisaea AGE: 32
Remains of UK’s oldest recorded Arctic tern were found in Aberdeenshire in July 2019. It was ringed as a chick in Angus. On average, a tern lives for 13 years.