World’s oldest tagged albatross is a mother for the 36th time

Wisdom, by most measures, is now 66 years ago.

The Laysan Albatross, which resides at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, also happens to be the world’s oldest-known breeding bird in the wild. She’s hatched 35 chicks. And her 36th chick recently hatched.

The National Audubon Society posted this heartwarming video, which was taken by a volunteer with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service at the far northern end of the Hawaiian archipelago, and a story about Wisdom.

“The chick hatched approximately two months after Wisdom, at least 66 years old, was first spotted incubating an egg at the same nesting site her and her mate, Akeakamai, use each year,” the USFWS said.

“Wisdom continues to inspire people around the world. She has returned home to Midway Atoll for over six decades and raised at least 30-35 chicks,” Bob Peyton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Project Leader for Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Memorial, said in a statement. “Because Laysan albatross don’t lay eggs every year and when they do, they raise only one chick at a time, the contribution of even one bird to the population makes a difference.”

Wisdom was banded in the 1950s and has been tracked ever since.

The island haven is home to the largest albatross colony in the world and it, like many other seabirds, tend to return to the same nesting site each year, and rely on the safety of the refuge to raise their young.

Despite havens such as this, the Laysan Albatross is still considered in danger of extinction.


Wisdom and her latest chick. Naomi Blinick/USFWS Volunteer

You can see more pictures of Wisdom here. They are wonderful.

Laysan Albatross chick getting to know mother Wisdom, age 66. Naomi Blinick/USFWS Volunteer

Main photo  Naomi Blinick/USFWS Volunteer

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