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America's oldest known wild bird, a Laysan albatross, is found alive after fears it perished in tsunami

March 22, 2011 |  8:39 pm

Wisdom the albatross

HONOLULU — The oldest known wild bird in the U.S. has returned to a remote atoll northwest of the main Hawaiian islands after surviving this month's tsunami.

Officials at the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes Midway Atoll, said Monday that they are thrilled that the Laysan albatross survived the March 11 tsunami. The albatross, named Wisdom, is more than 60 years old.

Complex project leader Barry Stieglitz says the survival of the albatross reinforces the importance of breeding adults in the seabird population.

The tsunami generated by the massive earthquake off Japan killed at least 2,000 adult and 110,000 albatross chicks.

Stieglitz says it is "humbling" that the 8-pound bird is still producing chicks.

RELATED BIRD NEWS:
Researchers say penguins are harmed by the tracking bands used to study them
Two unusual albino blue-winged kookaburra chicks found in Queensland, Australia

-- Associated Press

Photo: Wisdom the Laysan albatross with a chick at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in February. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey / Associated Press

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