World's Oldest Banded Bird Welcomes New Chick
The skeletal remains of Aurornis xui date to the Middle to Late Jurassic period.
Jonica Dos Remedios/Claude Desmedt/IRSNB
Skeleton and reconstruction of Aurornis xui, the world's oldest known bird.
A reconstruction of Aurornis xui, envisions the bird having grey-toned feathers, with distinctive markings on its wings and legs.
Beloved Laysan albatross Wisdom, the world’s oldest banded wild bird, has added yet another branch to her sprawling family tree.
In a blog post, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) reveals that the bird, who is at least 65 years old, and her mate welcomed a healthy hatchling into the world on February 1.
Wildlife researchers named the chick Kukini, which is Hawaiian for “messenger.”
Wisdom's mate watches over the new baby chick.USFWS
Throughout the colony, Wisdom’s isn’t the only albatross family with a new addition — officials have identified nearly 500,000 active nests at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, a USFWS facility in the northern Pacific Ocean that houses the world’s largest albatross colony.
Wisdom was first banded by renowned ornithologist Chandler Robbins in 1956. She has “nested consecutively” at the refuge since then, according to USFWS data.
Based on decades of observations, researchers believe that she has raised as many as 40 chicks and logged millions of miles of ocean flight time throughout her life.
“Wisdom is an iconic symbol of inspiration and hope,” Refuge Manager Robert Peyton remarked in a statement.
“She is breaking longevity records of previously banded birds by at least a decade. With over a million albatross on Midway Atoll alone, this shows just how much is left to learn about the natural world around us.”