60 Year Old Albatross Has 35th Baby
We were saddened by the news that thousands of nesting albatross had been swept away by the tsunami. But there is some good news to come out of the albatross world this week. A momma albatross, judged by her ankle band to be born in 1951, has had her 35th baby. They say that kids keep you young but this is incredible.Environmental Graffiti reports that this year, the albatross named Wisdom returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the northwest Hawaiian Islands and was spotted with her chick.
According to the chief scientist:
"She looks great," said Bruce Peterjohn, the chief of the North American Bird Banding Program at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md. "And she is now the oldest wild bird documented in the 90-year history of our USGS-FWS and Canadian bird banding program," he added. "To know that she can still successfully raise young at age 60-plus, that is beyond words. While the process of banding 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."
Albatross mate for life so she's had the same lover this entire time. Amazing.
Two species of albatross: the Amsterdam Albatross and the Chatham Albatross are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The main cause is commercial long-line fishing because the birds are attracted to the set bait and get hooked in the lines.
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