Oldest Known Wild Bird Hatches Chick at 62
Wisdom the albatross was first banded in 1956 on Midway Atoll.
The Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis)—62 years old at least—recently hatched a healthy baby in the U.S. Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, her sixth in a row and possibly the 35th of her lifetime, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) North American Bird Banding Program. (Related: "51-Year-Old Albatross Breaks N. American Age Record .")
But Wisdom's longevity would be unknown if it weren't for a longtime bird-banding project founded by USGS research wildlife biologist Chandler Robbins.
Now 94, Robbins was the first scientist to band Wisdom in 1956, who at the time was "just another nesting bird," he said. Over the next ten years, Robbins banded tens of thousands of black-footed albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes) and Laysan albatrosses