Oldest Wild Bird In The World Is About To Become Mother Again At Age 66

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, is the world’s oldest known wild bird. She was first identified and tagged by biologists in 1956 when she arrived at her species’ colony on the Midway Atoll to breed. Because the birds don’t reach reproductive age until they are 5 years old, that means Wisdom is at least 66 years old!

Not only is the world’s oldest wild bird, but she’s about to be a mom again.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) staffers at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge were so excited to discover that Wisdom had returned to the Pacific island colony, and she was about to have another baby.

“When I made it to lunch, I knew something was up,” USFWS project leader Charlie Pelizza said in a release. “The staff was abuzz with the news that Wisdom was back and incubating. It’s amazing what a bit of good news can do to brighten the day.”

This latest offspring will  be the 10th chick Wisdom has raised over the course of her lifetime.

Albatrosses mate for life, but Wisdom is believed to have outlived at least one previous partner. In recent years, she is joined by her current partner, a faithful male albatross named Akeakamaiare (whose name means, appropriately enough, “lover of wisdom”). He’ll share in the duties of incubating the egg and feeding the chick after hatching.

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