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How Old is the World's Oldest Wild Bird?

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Story at-a-glance

  • Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, is at least 68 years old — the world’s oldest known wild bird
  • It’s believed that Wisdom has raised up to 36 chicks, and she just laid another egg in 2018
  • Wisdom was first banded at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in 1956 by the late biologist Chandler Robbins; she was believed to be an adult, around 5 years old, at the time
  • It’s difficult to track albatross, in part because they spend up to 90 percent of their lives at sea, floating among the waves and feasting on fish eggs and squid
  • It’s possible that other older birds exist, as the early bands used to tag the birds were made of aluminum, which would easily become corroded by the elements, causing the bands to fall off



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