The US Fish and Wildlife service stated that a laysan albatross name Wisdom has hatched her 40th chick. An impressive stunt considering the bird is the oldest one known to be 65 years old. The baby bird, named Kukini, was welcomed into the world on February 1.
The father, named Gooo, as reflected by the identification band around his leg, took care of Kukini for the first two weeks. While the mother Wisdom was expected to return from gathering squid, fish and fish eggs to feed the baby bird, Gooo patiently waited alongside his newborn son.
The chick was born at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge on February 1 and it was named Kukini, which means, “messenger” in the Hawaiian language. According to the agency, Wisdom is the oldest known bird living in the wild and has been mapping out new territory for years now. As a result, the refuge where Wisdom has made a life with her mate and sons is now a facility that houses the world’s largest albatross colony.
The fact these birds almost never set foot on land except during the breeding season is incredible according to researchers. The incubation process and raise of the chick can take as much as seven months for a Laysan albatross. Researchers have determined that Laysan albatrosses can travel hundreds of miles in a day. They can also log thousands of miles in the air every year by using a massive wingspan of more than six feet to soar in the sky, said a Fish and Wildlife Service publishing.
The seabirds meet their partners at the same location each year in order to build a new nest together. The breeding of the Laysan albatrosses happens on the Hawaiian Islands normally between November and July. These amazing birds can soar for hours without even flapping their wings. They can even fly in their sleep to avoid predators such as sharks and whales.
The Fish and Wildlife Service states that Wisdom has raised at least eight chicks since 2006, and as many as 40 during her lifetime. And according to researchers, she has likely flown over 3 million miles since she was first tagged on Midway Atoll in 1956. Wisdom’s mileage can account for up to six trips from Earth to the moon and back again, said Bruce Peterjohn, chief of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center’s National Bird Banding Laboratory.
“Wisdom isn’t the only one in this story to show astounding longevity,” said Peterjohn. “What is also miraculous is that biologist Chandler Robbins, who banded her as a breeding adult in 1956 on Midway Atoll, sighted her 46 years later near the same nesting location.”
Source: Science World Report