Ageing albatross, 60, hatches chick
Published 09/03/2011 | 05:36
The oldest known wild bird in the US is a new mother.
A US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist spotted the Laysan albatross that is at least 60 years old a few weeks ago.
It was with a chick at Midway Atoll, a remote wildlife refuge 1,300 miles north-west of Honolulu.
A US Geological Survey scientist first banded the seabird as she incubated an egg in 1956.
She was estimated to be at least five years old at the time. The albatross has since worn out five bird bands.
Bruce Peterjohn, the chief of the North American Bird Banding Programme, said that the albatross is the oldest wild bird documented by the 90-year-old bird banding programme run by the US Geological Survey, the Fish and Wildlife Service and Canada.