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Last Updated: Saturday August 15 2009 10:21 GMT

'Oldest' golden eagle found dead

A golden eagle - but not the one that's died

One of the oldest known wild golden eagles in Britain has been found dead on the isle of Jura, in Scotland.

The bird, which was 22 years old, was first spotted and given an identity ring when it was just a chick.

Its body was found on North Jura by a member of the public who reported it to the bird charity, RSPB Scotland.

The charity said they thought the bird of prey died of natural causes after living its life in "relative peace". The previous oldest wild eagle was 16.

In captivity, golden eagles have been known to live for more than 40 years.

A sea eagle chick in flight

RSPB Scotland's Roger Broad, who put the identity ring on the eagle back in the 1980s, said there were no signs that the bird had been hurt in any way.

"It's actually very nice to hear about a bird that's had such a long life, and to be told about it in a situation like this when there are absolutely no suspicious circumstances whatsoever," he said.

The golden eagle is thought to have been part of a breeding pair on Jura. It's now hoped its partner will pair up will another golden eagle that passes through its territory.