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Oldest Flying Bird Mom and Chick Escape Tsunami 112,000 Dead

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by copythis

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In The News

The oldest living mom – who gave birth to a baby chick just a month ago – has been spotted, while biologists were fearing for the worst after the tsunami from Japan hit the albatrosses' wildlife refuge.
The adult albatross ranks as the oldest free-flying bird and -- just recently -- also as the oldest mom, making the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ecstatic to find the bird alive and well, still feeding her recently born chick after the tsunami devastation.
The Layson albatross birds’ nesting ground of a Pacific island was hit by the tsunami sparked in Japan.The elderly bird, dubbed “Wisdom,” and her recently hatched chick have been spotted and verified as alive – seen a week after Sand Island in the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge had been struck by a 5-foot tidal wave. The deadly, traveling tsunami was triggered by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that targeted the coast of Japan on March 11.
How or why the Layson albatross bird – and her even more fragile chick -- was spared by the tsunami is unknown. The tsunami that bore down on the Pacific island killed roughly 2,000 adult albatross birds and another 110,000 albatross chicks that were in the Midway Atol during the disaster. The wildlife refuge is a U.S. land possession – located about one-third of the way between Honolulu and Tokyo in the North Pacific.
Layson albatrosses usually mate for life, and spend their first three to five years of life in constant flight, never even touching land -- believed to even sleep while aloft in the air.
Researchers believe that “Wisdom” herself has logged about 3 million flying miles during her 60-year lifetime, or the equivalent of about six round trips to the Moon -- and now she's escaped a tsunami on ground.


Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
300 Ala Moana Blvd., P.O. Box 50167 c/o Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument
Honolulu, HI 96850-5000
United States
Phone: (808) 674-8237
Fax: (808) 674-1967
21° 18' 12.8232" N, 157° 51' 44.82" W
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