Related BBC sites

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.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO IN EARTH NEWS
Albatross cam for bird's eye view
07 Oct 09 |  Earth News
Albatrosses set breeding record
02 Sep 09 |  Earth News
Lifeline for endangered albatross
23 Feb 09 |  Science & Environment
Where the albatross wanders
31 Aug 00 |  Sci/Tech

OTHER RELATED BBC LINKS


MOST POPULAR STORIES

From Science/Environment in the past week

  • FRIDAY :
  • THURSDAY :
  • WEDNESDAY :

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific