Find Out Why This Farmer and the Oldest-Known Icelandic Sea Eagle Are Best Friends…

While out and about on a lazy Saturday afternoon, a farmer in Iceland noticed an eagle struggling along the banks of a river. Þórarinn Rafnsson watched the bird unsuccessfully try to fly away and realized the bird was injured. Amazingly, he was able to toss his jacket over the bird while it was resting in the tall grass.

The farmer took his new friend home, fed him a tasty dinner of wild salmon and lamb, and the pair became quite chummy.

But, Rafnsson wasn’t sure exactly how to care for the injured raptor. He contacted the local police, who in turn consulted the Icelandic Institute of Natural History… The farmer decided, ultimately, that his new pal would probably be better kept in the capable hands of their staff.

Check it out per Mother Nature Network:

Once experts examined the bird, they realized the farmer had made a remarkable discovery. The male bird is a sea eagle, also known as a white-tailed eagle, that was tagged in Breiðafjörður bay in 1993 as a young bird, making him 25 years old. Because the average lifespan of the sea eagle is 21 years with the oldest birds living to about 25 years old, this newly discovered eagle is likely one of the oldest alive today.

According to the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, sea eagles are one of Iceland’s rarest birds. They used to be more common, until the late 19th century, when their numbers dramatically declined due to organized elimination efforts that drove the population to the brink of extinction.

Although sea eagles have been protected under Icelandic law since 1914, their numbers have been slow to recover. In 1964, when the practice of killing foxes with poison bait was banned, the sea eagles’ population began to increase.

In spring 2006, 66 breeding pairs (not including juvenile birds) were counted. That’s the largest eagle population recorded since the bird was declared a protected species, according to the institute.

The newly discovered feathered elder statesman is now with experts at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History in Reykjavík, who are caring for his injuries.

We here at Animal Lovers just want to take a moment to thank farmer Rafnsson for his quick thinking and compassion. We love all of God’s creatures and wish the eagle a long life of delicious salmon dinners, worry-free napping, and lots of big blue sky.

Fly on, brother eagle…

Have you ever rescued a hurt animal?

Or adopted a dog or cat from the pound?