Sunday 4 November 2012

30 year old Swift!

We were surprised to learn that there is a record of a Swift, ringed near Orléans in France at one year old, on 11th June 1967, that was retrapped 28 years, 11 months and 27 days later. So it just about reached the ripe old age of 30 years. This report appears in the French magazine La Hulotte (the Tawny Owl), Number 90 - La Nuit des Methusalem.

Written by Dick

Page from La Hulotte - click image to enlarge
There is no record of this in the Euring longevity pages, but it is not surprising that a small number of Swifts should achieve this age, given their relatively high annual survival. Indeed we predicted it in our piece How long do Swifts live?

This would established the Common Swift as the longest lived 'small bird', at least in Europe, even longer than its larger relative, the Alpine Swift at 26 years.

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