They sometimes say that raising children is a game for the young, but according to Wisdom, the Laysan albatross, you are never too old to start again. Wisdom is the oldest known wild bird but she still manages to sit on eggs and hatch them, just like a youngster.
Wisdom was tagged in 1956 by a biologist and since that time, they have been watching her come and go. Every year, she would return to the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge to meet with her mate. Since she has lived such a long life, she has outlived a number of mating partners. Even the biologist who tagged her has passed away.
The National Audubon Society said that Wisdom hatched a chick on February 1 of this year. Even though they are not sure how many she has hatched, they think that it numbers about 39.
An article quoted the supervisory wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Beth Flint.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
She said: “Each year that Wisdom returns (to Midway Atoll), we learn more about how long seabirds can live and raise chicks. 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.”
Wisdom has had a number of mates in her long lifetime. An albatross will typically mate for life, but she has lived so long that she had to take on a new mate. In 2006, she got together with Akeakamai and they have been meeting on the Midway Atoll every year to raise their young.
After reaching the Midway Atoll, the mating pair will stay for seven months while the egg is incubated and the newborn is being cared for. They will then head out to sea to return next year. Typically, they lay a single egg, although more than one is not out of the question.
Not only is Wisdom an interesting bird to watch, it seems as if she is an inspiration to many. The USFWS had the following to say: “Surely as the sun will set and rise each day, albatross will return to their home on Midway Atoll … In 2020, as we look for hope and inspiration, Wisdom serves as a reminder of the beauty and wonder that still surround us.”Whizzco