The world’s oldest recognized wild chicken is a mother or father as soon as once more. Knowledge, a mōlī (Laysan Albatross), had returned to her nesting web site on Halfway Atoll in November, alongside together with her mate Akeakamai. Knowledge quickly laid an egg, and in late January it started to hatch. The chick emerged on Monday, February 1.
Knowledge is roughly 70 years outdated. She was banded as an grownup in 1956, when she was a minimum of 5 years outdated. The late ornithologist Chandler Robbins connected her first band. Not solely have numerous information articles been written about Knowledge, however she additionally has her personal Wikipedia web page.
Biologists estimate that Knowledge has hatched a minimum of 30–36 chicks in her lifetime. In 2018, biologists noticed the chick that she fledged in 2011 just some ft away from her present nest. Numerous generations of albatrosses on Halfway Atoll have an identical household reunion annually.
Yearly, thousands and thousands of albatrosses return to Halfway Atoll Nationwide Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Halfway Nationwide Memorial. Starting in October, birds return to their identical nesting web site and reunite with their mate on the earth’s largest colony of albatrosses. Knowledge and her mate, Akeakamai, have been hatching and elevating chicks collectively since a minimum of 2012, when biologists first banded Akeakamai.
Information managed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Hen Banding Laboratory assist scientists observe particular person birds, similar to Knowledge and Akeakamai, by their lifetime.
Scientists can preserve monitor of birds by putting aluminum and/or coloured bands with figuring out numbers on a chicken’s legs. By monitoring Knowledge, scientists have discovered that these seabirds can stay lengthy lives and nest efficiently for many years.
The primary albatross was banded on Halfway Atoll in 1936. So far, over 275,000 albatrosses have been banded on the refuge. By pairing fashionable knowledge evaluation with detailed present and historic information, biologists could make extra knowledgeable administration choices that guarantee seabirds have the habitat and assets they want sooner or later.
“Every year that Knowledge returns, we study extra about how lengthy seabirds can stay and lift chicks,” stated Beth Flint, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Her return not solely evokes chicken lovers in every single place however helps us higher perceive how we are able to defend these sleek seabirds and the habitat they should survive into the longer term.”
USGS workers handle an archive of greater than 77 million banding information and greater than 5 million encounter reviews for over a thousand chicken species in North America and belief territories. Data gathered by chicken banding helps inform vital administration and conservation choices.