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Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Wednesday, 9 March 2011
'Oldest bird in US' raises chick
Wisdom the Laysan albatross with chick (Image: US Geological Survey)
The bird has probably raised 30-35 chicks during her life

The oldest known bird in the US, a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, has been spotted with a chick.

This image of the bird with its newly-hatched chick was taken by US Geological Survey (USGS) scientists at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the North Pacific.

The USGS put an identity ring on Wisdom in 1956, as she was incubating an egg.

Laysan albatrosses typically breed at eight or nine years of age, so the bird is likely to be in its early 60s.

Bruce Peterjohn, from the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland, said that the bird "looked great".

"To know that she can still successfully raise young at age 60-plus, that is beyond words," he said.

"While the process of banding (ringing) a bird has not changed greatly during the past century, the information provided by birds marked with a simple numbered metal band has transformed our knowledge of birds."

Scientists estimate that Wisdom has probably raised 30-35 chicks during her breeding life.

These birds lay only one egg per year, and spend most of the year incubating and raising their chicks.

Adult albatrosses also mate for life, with both parents raising the young, but researchers do not know if Wisdom has had the same partner during her 60 years of raising young.

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