Old­est known seabird in­cu­bates an egg at 66

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in Washington

The world’s old­est known seabird is ex­pect­ing, of­fi­cials at the Mid­way Atoll Na­tional Wildlife Refuge said Satur­day.

The Laysan al­ba­tross known as Wis­dom — a bird thought to be at least 66 years old — is in­cu­bat­ing an egg once again, putting her on track to be­come the old­est known breed­ing wild bird in the world.

Char­lie Pelizza, the United States Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice project leader at the refuge in the mid­dle of the North Pa­cific Ocean, said in a state­ment that Wis­dom has been re­turn­ing there for six decades.

“The staff was abuzz with the news that Wis­dom was back and in­cu­bat­ing,” he said.

The bird was first banded in 1956. Since 2006 she has fledged at least nine chicks, and trav­eled some 3 mil­lion miles over the course of her life.

Wis­dom’s mate, Akeaka­mai, was seen near their nest site on Nov 23.

The Mid­way Atoll Na­tional Wildlife Re­serve is home to the world’s largest al­ba­tross colony.

Park staff had thought Wis­dom might take a year off from breed­ing, as many al­ba­trosses must take time to molt and re­plen­ish their plumage.

The birds spend al­most 90 per­cent of their lives fly­ing, trav­el­ing thou­sands of miles every year look­ing for food.

An es­ti­mated 3 mil­lion breed­ing birds visit the Mid­way Atoll refuge.


Wis­dom (left), the world’s old­est known banded bird in the wild, stands with her mate on Mid­way Atoll Na­tional Wildlife Refuge.

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