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Oldest Known Wild Bird Hatches Chick

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February 06, 2013

Oldest Known Wild Bird Hatches Chick

By Chad Love

Are you an aging baby boomer trying desperately to hang onto your youth? If so, perhaps you should take a little inspiration from an albatross named Wisdom. Why? Because this senior citizen is still birthing kids and circumnavigating the Pacific in her late 60s. Take that, Jane Fonda.

From this story on discovery.com
In the same year Elvis Presley first hit the U.S. charts, one particular Laysan albatross was observed  for the first time. Now, 62 years later, that bird is still rocking and rolling out eggs. Wisdom, as she is named, recently hatched a chick for the sixth year in a row. “If she were human, she would be eligible for Medicare in a couple years yet she is still regularly raising young and annually circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean,” said Bruce Peterjohn, chief of the North American Bird Banding Program at the U.S. Geological Survey. The new chick joins an estimated 30 or more albatross hatched by Wisdom. Albatross lay one egg per year. Incubating that egg and raising the chick then takes most of a year. The birds then sometimes take a year off.

According to the story, Wisdom was first banded by biologists in 1956, and had to be at least five years old at the time and possibly older, since albatross don't lay eggs until at least five and sometimes not until they're eight or nine. Wisdom is now on her fifth leg band.

That's pretty amazing, and got me to wondering about waterfowl ages. I know ducks and geese are also long-lived birds (but not that long-lived), so for those of you who have shot a banded birds, what's the oldest you've ever seen?

Comments (3)

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from JohnnyAppleSeed wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Neat story! In once had an albatross on a par 5...

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from JohnnyAppleSeed wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Neat story! In once had an albatross on a par 5...

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from themadflyfisher wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

62 years and going, that's pretty impressive! How long do they live?

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from JohnnyAppleSeed wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Neat story! In once had an albatross on a par 5...

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from JohnnyAppleSeed wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Neat story! In once had an albatross on a par 5...

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from themadflyfisher wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

62 years and going, that's pretty impressive! How long do they live?

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