Biodiversity: 62-year old bird continues to astound

Summit County Citizens Voice

‘A sign of hope’ for the species

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Along with logging about 50,000 miles in the air each year, the world’s oldest known albatross this year hatched another chick at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross believed to be at least 62, has now reared offspring for six years in a row — “a sign of hope” for the species, according to Doug Staller, superintendent for the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which includes the Midway Atoll NWR.

Wisdom has worn out five bird bands since she was first banded by U.S. Geological Survey scientist Chandler Robbins in 1956. Robbins estimated Wisdom to be at least 5 years old at the time, since this is the earliest age at which these birds breed. Typically, they breed at 8 or 9 years of age after a very involved courtship lasting over several…

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