JAN 13, 2020 03:34 PM PST

An Albatross Mother's Work is Never Done

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Albatross chicks are naturally flightless, and this increases their dependence on their parental units to bring back food for them to eat. In this chick’s case, its mother is the world’s oldest known wild bird, a 67-year-old albatross known to scientists as Z333, or more colloquially as ‘Wisdom.’

Wisdom has mothered well over 30 albatross chicks in her lifetime, and when scavenging for food, she sometimes disappears for several weeks at a time, leaving her chick behind. The chick has no choice but to wait for Wisdom’s return, as she’s the only one that will feed it.

The wait can be hard on the albatross chick, especially since it’s quite literally watching all the other chicks around it get nourishment from their parents. Moreover, the albatross’ natural habitat is rather warm, sometimes making the chicks pant in the heat.

After Wisdom returns with food, the chick behaves ecstatically. When she lands, the chick pecks at her beak to let her know that it’s hungry, and she provides accordingly.

Related: These birds mate for life

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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