Friday, February 12, 2016
Landess Kearns - World's Oldest Wild Bird Hatches Yet Another Chick
HONOLULU -- The world's oldest known wild bird just gave birth, astonishing scientists yet again. Wisdom, a Laysan Albatross, is at least 65 years old, making her the oldest known bird in the wild, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The fluffy chick emerged from its shell on Feb. 1 on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, which is part of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The remote atoll lies about 1,300 miles northwest of Honolulu. In the video below, Wisdom feeds her newborn chick, named Kūkini, the Hawaiian word for "messenger." This birth is far from Wisdom's first rodeo.
Wisdom's mate and Kūkini share a bonding moment.
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
She's hatched as many as 40 chicks in her lifetime, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. She was first banded in 1956, and since then has continued to amaze scientists by beating the odds in an increasingly harsh ocean ecosystem.
As the oceans continue to fill up with plastic debris, seabirds like Wisdom are at great risk for consuming garbage and feeding it to their chicks. The typical lifespan of a Laysan Albatross is 12-40 years, so scientists consider Wisdom to be a very special bird. Her record-breaking longevity gives them cause to be optimistic for the ocean's health.
"Wisdom is an iconic symbol of inspiration and hope," Robert Peyton, manager of the Midway refuge, said. "Albatrosses are a critical indicator species for the world’s oceans."