A Laysan albatross named Wisdom just hatched a new chick on the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.
Wisdom, who is at least 62, is not only the world’s oldest-known wild bird, but she’s also the oldest-known wild bird mom.
Wisdom has sported and worn out 5 bird bands since she was first banded by noted U.S. Geological Survey scientist Chandler Robbins in 1956 as she incubated an egg. Chandler rediscovered Wisdom in 2001. In 1956, he estimated Wisdom to be at least 5 years old then since this is the earliest age at which these birds breed, though they more typically breed at 8 or 9 after an involved courtship lasting several years. This means, of course, that Wisdom could be even older than 62.
Rewriting the Record Books
“As Wisdom rewrites the record books, she provides new insights into the remarkable biology of seabirds,” said Bruce Peterjohn, chief of the North American Bird Banding Program at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, MD. “It is beyond words to describe the amazing accomplishments of this wonderful bird and how she demonstrates the value of bird banding to better understand the world around us. If she were human, she would be eligible for Medicare in a couple years yet she is still regularly raising young and annually circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean.”
And since adult albatross mate for life, with both parents raising the young, it makes one wonder if Wisdom has had the same partner all these years or not
More: http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs ... from=title
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