February 26, 2019

The oldest known wild bird in the world has become a mother again at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. wildlife officials said. (You go, girl!)

The Laysan albatross named Wisdom hatched a chick this month at the remote atoll northwest of Hawaii. Wisdom is at least 68 years old and has raised at least 31 chicks. She was first banded as an adult in 1956.

Wisdom and her mate, Akeaka-mai, have been returning to the atoll to lay and hatch eggs since 2006. Laysan albatrosses mate for life and lay one egg per year.

“She’s incredibly powerful as a symbol of why we do what we do and why people all over the world pay attention to her,” said Beth Flint, a Fish and Wildlife Service biologist. “Wisdom is rewriting history about our understanding of survivorship, how long birds live, and how often they breed.”

Albatross parents take turns incubating an egg for about seven months. Chicks fly out to sea about five to six months after hatching. They spend most of their lives flying over the ocean – feeding on squid and fish eggs.

SOURCE: Washington Post, 2/19/19