66-year-old albatross hatches another chick
Wisdom, the world’s oldest known breeding bird in the wild, is at it again. The Laysan albatross, known to be at least 66 years old, successfully hatched another chick at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial within Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the monument reported Thursday.
Wisdom was first spotted incubating an egg two months ago at the same nesting site that the bird and her mate, Akeakamai, use each year, officials said. “Wisdom continues to inspire people around the world. She has returned home to Midway Atoll for over six decades and raised at least 30 to 35 chicks,” Bob Peyton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service project leader of the Midway refuge and memorial, said in a news release.
It takes nearly seven months to incubate an egg and raise a chick to fledge, with each parent taking a turn incubating the egg or watching over the chick while the other searches for food at sea, according to the monument. “Because Laysan albatross don’t lay eggs every year and when they do, they raise only one chick at a time, the contribution of even one bird to the population makes a difference,” Peyton said.
The world’s largest colony of albatrosses is found at Midway Atoll, which includes nearly 70 percent of the world’s Laysan albatrosses and nearly 40 percent of black-footed albatrosses, as well as endangered short-tailed albatrosses.
Wisdom, a 66-year-old Laysan albatross, feeds her new chick at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.