BY: Michelle Liew
The world’s oldest known wild bird, ‘Wisdom’ the Laysan Albatross, has hatched another chick this season, at the age of 70.
Each year, countless albatrosses return to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge to their same nesting site and reunite with the same mate. In the world’s largest colony of albatrosses, Wisdom and her mate, Akeakamai, have been hatching and raising chicks together since 2012.
“At least 70 years old, we believe Wisdom has had other mates,” stated U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Dr. Beth Flint.
“Though albatross mate for life, they may find new partners if necessary—if they outlive their first mate.”
According to research, albatrosses do not typically lay eggs every year and when they do, they lay only a single egg.
By the age of 60, Wisdom logged at least 2-3 million miles since she was first banded in 1956. That’s 4-6 trips to-and-fro from Earth to the Moon!
One reason for all these frequent-flyer miles is that every Laysan albatross spends their first 3 to 5 years fledging at sea, never touching land.
“Each year that Wisdom returns, we learn more about how long seabirds can live and raise chicks,” said Flint.
“Her return not only inspires bird lovers everywhere but helps us better understand how we can protect these graceful seabirds and the habitat they need to survive into the future.”
It is truly astonishing to see the wonders of nature.