62 Year-Old Albatross and Oldest Known Wild Bird Hatches Chick
Wisdom, a type of seabird called a Laysan albatross, is the oldest known wild bird, and she recently welcomed a new chick into the world at the age of 62. Wisdom was banded as part of a study in 1956 by the scientist Chandler Robbins, now 94 years of age.
Robbins, who still works as a scientist at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland, returned to Wisdom’s home, a tiny Pacific island that is now part of the U.S. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, in 2002. Robbins was hoping to find one of the “old-timers,” one of the original albatrosses to be banded at the start of the study.
As luck would have it, Robbins found Wisdom.
At the time when Wisdom was first banded, Robbins and his colleagues were studying the albatross’s behavior because they were colliding with U.S. Navy aircrafts. That issue has since been remedied, but albatrosses face many new dangers, including lead paint poisoning, small pieces of plastic that can be choked on, and fishing long-lines.
Despite all this, Wisdom has survived to bring a new chick into the world, possibly the 35th in her lifetime.
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