logo

Oldest Known Wild Bird Hatches Chick at 62 ...


Written in Studies: 03/05/13, 01:50:47 by admin  | Print article  | View all categories.

A Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis)—62 years old at least — recently hatched a healthy chick in the U.S. Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, her sixth in a row and possibly the 35th of her lifetime, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) North American Bird Banding Program

The 94 year old, Chandler Robbins. was the first scientist to band the bird in 1956, who at the time was "just another nesting bird," he said. Over the next ten years, Robbins banded tens of thousands of black-footed albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes) and Laysan albatrosses as part of a project to study the behavior of the large seabirds, which at the time were colliding with U.S. Navy aircraft.

Robbins didn't return to the tiny Pacific island—now part of the U.S. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument—until 2002, when he "recaptured as many birds as I could in hopes that some of them would be the old-timers.". Indeed, Robbins did recapture Wisdom—but he didn't know it until he got back to his office at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland, and checked her band number in the database.

You can read the full story at http://news.nationalgeographic.com.