As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 8 March 2019

World’s oldest known wild bird is a mother again on Midway Atoll

By Nina Wu 
February 8, 2019
Updated February 8, 2019 2:58pm
Wisdom’s mate, Akeakamai, watches over the new albatross chick this week at Midway Atoll. Wisdom, estimated to be 68 years old, hatched this chick over the past week.
Wisdom, the world’s oldest-known wild bird, has hatched yet another chick at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.
The Laysan albatross supermom is at least 68 years old, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials, and has given birth to and raised at least 31 chicks in her lifetime.
Wildlife officials first spotted Wisdom at her nest site at Midway on Nov. 29, where she soon laid an egg. The chick hatched this week, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
“She’s incredibly powerful as a symbol of why we do what we do and why people all over the world pay attention to her,” said Beth Flint, a Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, in a news release. “Wisdom is rewriting history about our understanding of survivorship, how long birds live, and how often they breed.”
Laysan albatrosses mate for life, and only one egg is laid per year, so they do not commonly return every year to do so. Since 2006, however, Wisdom and her mate, Akeakamai, have returned to Midway Atoll at Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument to lay and hatch an egg.
After the egg is laid, the albatross parents spend about seven months incubating it. They take turns, with one incubating the egg, while the other forages for food. After another five to six months, the chicks fledge, or fly out to sea, where they spend most of their lives soaring over the ocean and feeding on squid and fish eggs.

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