Meet the George Burns of California gulls. (Because he’s old, not because he’s funny.) This guy is 28 years old, according to the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, which posted the photos on its Facebook page last week. The bird was found on Aug. 10, unable to stand, and was rescued by the center. The bird’s condition has improved, according to Bay Area News Group’s Animal Life columnist Joan Morris, who also wrote about his age …
A band on the bird’s leg shows that he was tagged by the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory in 1985, making the gull a little more than 28 years old — a record for California gulls, which are known to live up to 25 years … While treating him at the Wildlife Center, caregivers checked the band on his leg and the federal identification number. The bands help researchers track migratory and nesting patterns, and the overall health of bird populations.
The California gull is a type of gull, by the way — it doesn’t refer to the state of residency of the bird. According to National Geographic, the population is between 500,000 and 1 million, so give this guy his due for being the oldest.
At least, oldest on record.