70-year-old Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, has been known to be the world’s oldest wild bird.
However, Wisdom has surprised researchers and scientists by embracing motherhood again! At the age of 70, Wisdom hatched a chick on 1st February in the Midway Atoll national wildlife refuge in the North Pacific.
Biologists believe that she has hatched around 30 to 36 chicks already.
What is remarkable is that Wisdom has outlived all its previous mating partners as well as the biologist Chandler Robbins, who first banded her in 1956.
The father of the chick is Akeakamai, Wisdom’s mate since at least 2012.
“We believe Wisdom has had other mates,” US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Dr Beth Flint said in the organisation’s article on medium. “Though albatross mate for life, they may find new partners if necessary – for example if they outlive their first mate.”
🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍
Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, banded wild bird is at least 70 years old. Biologists estimate she has had at least 30-36 chicks. https://t.co/cjM8X2clme
📸-Jon Brack/Friends of Midway Atoll NWR pic.twitter.com/voK0kO27ed
— USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWSPacific) February 5, 2021
Wisdom has been known to surprise biologists often: she has lived about twice as long as the average Laysan albatross.
“Albatrosses are extremely long-lived but the unusual thing about Wisdom is she’s so much older than other birds,” said Professor Richard Phillips, a seabird ecologist and head of the higher predators and conservation group at the British Antarctic Survey.
“You wouldn’t expect a bird to be quite as much of an outlier as she is,” Professor Phillips added. He explained that the next oldest banded albatross he has ever encountered is 61 years old, Which is almost a decade younger than Wisdom.
“Because she only nests every two years, the international bird community looks forward to see if she’s been able to come back and nest,” Sean Dooley, national public affairs manager for BirdLife Australia said. “The odds are stacked against them so much, whenever it happens it’s always a cause for celebration.”
Wow! Isn’t Wisdom truly phenomenal? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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