Wisdom albatross brought new life in this world at age 65. The oldest resident of the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is truly a wonder of nature. Although records estimate her age at 65 years old, Wisdom may be even older than that.
Albatross are remarkable birds. In their wild habitat, they are known to push towards age 50. That’s plenty of time to chart extensive swaths of territory and lay plenty of eggs to ensure species survival. Their majestic look is crowned by the span of their wings, reaching up to six feet.
Wisdom has been returning to the same mating spot in Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge for over 60 years. In November, the albatross laid an egg, possibly its 40th in Wisdom’s life. On February 1st, the eggshell cracked and Wisdom’s newborn hatched. Wisdom isn’t just the oldest known wild bird, she is also the world’s oldest avian mother.
The hatchling was reportedly in the care of Wisdom’s partner at the time it joined the other albatross in the atoll. Goo or Gooo as the male albatross is known was keeping the mother’s place as Wisdom was out hunting. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that Wisdom albatross brought new life in this world at age 65.
Wisdom’s hatchling was named Kūkini. In Hawaiian, Kūkini means messenger. Wisdom’s hatchling may be the 40th that the albatross has brought in this world. One day after the chick hatched, Wisdom returned from her hunting trip, switching places with her mate.
A hunting trip typically lasts up to a month. Hundreds of miles are clocked during this trip. As Gooo left, Wisdom was left to protect her chick in face of a drizzling rain falling on the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. The second day Wisdom and Kūkini got to know each other. The avian mother fed the hatchling with fish and squid caught during the hunting trip.
Robert Peyton, who is the refuge manager declared that:
“Wisdom is an iconic symbol of inspiration and hope”.
Wisdom was first banded by Chandler Robbins in 1956. At the time, the albatross was found in the same atoll that is her home now. Robbins believes that at the time Wisdom was banded she was at least five years old. The now 65 years old albatross is still visited sometimes by Robbinson who is 97 years old.
Photo Credits: Flickr