One of the world’s oldest wild birds, known as an Albatross has shocked researchers everywhere. The 70-year-old bird has hatched an egg, becoming the oldest bird in the world to give birth.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced that Wisdom, the Albatross, had laid an egg late last year. They wrote in a Press Release, “Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, banded wild bird, hatched a new chick this week at Midway Atoll.”
Further adding, “Biologists first observed the egg pipping on Friday, January 29. After several days, the chick hatched on Monday, February 1.”
Wisdom was first discovered in 1956 and has since given birth to over 30 chicks.
Laysan albatrosses take seven months to hatch and fledge their chicks. The amount of energy and level of care required means that the bird can only give birth every other year.
Even before this feat, Wisdom was defying expectations. She has likely flown over three million miles in her lifetime. She has also lived twice as long as the average Laysan Albatross.
Wisdom’s partner is an albatross named Akeakamai. According to experts, she has been with him since 2012. Usually, albatrosses mate with the same partner for life, but Wisdom’s unique situation means she’s had multiple partners.
Moreover, Wisdom was first spotted by a biologist, Chandler Robbins. Strangely, Robbins rediscovered the bird after 46 years. Thanks to the detailed bird survey records, the biologists were able to verify that it was the same bird.
Mike Parr, president of the American Bird Conservancy mentioned that they are still unsure how many more years Wisdom can continue hatching eggs.
“No one really knows,” he said. “We are in uncharted territory.”
For many bird lovers and biologists, Wisdom is a ray of hope. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, De. Beth Flint, says, “Wisdom not only inspires bird lovers everywhere but helps us better understand how we can protect these graceful seabirds.”
A seabird ecologist, Richard Phillips, said, “Albatrosses are extremely long-lived but the unusual thing about Wisdom is she’s so much older than other birds.”
Let’s hope Wisdom, the wild bird, can continue to inspire for many years to come!