Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Homechevron_rightSciencechevron_right71-year-old bird...

71-year-old bird spotted in US, World's oldest known wild bird

71-year-old bird spotted in US, Worlds oldest known wild bird

The world's oldest known wild bird, Wisdom, has been spotted after a year at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) tweeted that it is a Laysan albatross or moli.

"Biologists first identified and banded Wisdom in 1956 after she laid an egg, and the large seabirds aren't known to breed before age 5." The large seabird is known to reappear in the same nest site in the North Pacific for decades.

The agency further said that Wisdom has laid 50-60 eggs in its lifetime. She also raised around 30 chicks. Last year, scientists realised that one of her offspring was raising a chick on its own. This made the big bird a grandmother.

Her longtime mate Akeakamai (means "lover of wisdom" in the native Hawaiian language) has not been seen at the wildlife refuge this year. Their most recent offspring hatched in early 2021. He was absent last nesting season too. Males typically return to the breeding site first.

Wisdom and Akeakamai are among the millions of albatrosses that return to Midway Atoll on the far northern end of the Hawaiian archipelago to nest and raise their young. She arrived after most moli had already laid their eggs.

"Albatrosses are extremely long-lived but the unusual thing about Wisdom is she's so much older than other birds," said seabird ecologist Richard Phillips to The New York Times.

Wisdom was studied closely to monitor her longevity, behaviour, and migration patterns. The USFWS once said her "continued contribution to the fragile albatross population is remarkable and important. Her health and dedication have led to the birth of other healthy offspring which will help recover albatross populations on Laysan and other islands."

Ornithologist Chandler Robbins who banded Wisdom in 1956 told Living Bird magazine: "I like to think that in all her years, Wisdom has learned to avoid most of the hazards that threaten seabirds."

"Upon initially encountering Wisdom, she was nesting at a location well protected from tsunamis but close to overhead wires and traffic, which can pose risks to seabirds. When he recaptured her years later, he said, she had moved to a new nesting site free from such hazards," he added.

Show Full Article
TAGS:Wisdonoldest birdAlbatross
Next Story