Avian Longevity

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Avian Longevity
From: knightl <>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 10:48:00 +1000

Seabird Picture of the Month, June 2002:
Laysan Albatross
photo and text by Chandler Robbins

What makes this picture of a Laysan Albatross and chick unusual is that it was taken almost 50 years ago by Chan Robbins on Midway Atoll, and the fact that this bird could still be alive today. As Chan related in a recent newsletter for the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: “My news of the week is that while looking up band numbers of albatrosses that I had recaptured on Midway Atoll in February, I discovered that
one of them was a Laysan Albatross I had initially banded in 1956.
This bird was incubating an egg when I banded it, indicating that it
was at least five years old at the time. I had replaced the worn band in 1962, and other colleagues had replaced it again in 1985 and 1993. When I gave this bird its 5th sequential band in February 2002 it was brooding a healthy chick at the age of at least 51 years. This breaks the longevity record for North American birds in the wild, the previous record being for this same species at the age of 42 years 5 months.”

A Manx shearwater recently captured and re-banded in England was 50
years old, and still breeding. The oldest wild seabird ever found was a royal albatross that nested in New Zealand and was named Grandma. The bird was at least 53 years old when it went missing. According to the Guinness Book of Animal Records, the highest ever reported age of a bird is an unconfirmed 82 years for a male Siberian white crane. Some members of the parrot family are thought to have hatched at the end of the 19th century. Chandler Robbins is a senior research biologist with the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center .

To learn more about other seabirds, browse the Seabird Flash Cards on the Seabird Page of this website.

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Avian Longevity, knightl <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU