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World’s oldest known breeding bird adds to Laysan albatross population

  • COURTESY U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

    The Laysan albatross named Wisdom, the world’s oldest known breeding bird in the wild, successfully hatched another chick at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial.

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 Papahnaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the monument reported today.

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 press release.

It takes nearly seven months to incubate an egg and raise a chick to fledge, with each parents 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 albatross is found at Midway Atoll, which includes nearly 70 percent of the world’s Laysan albatross and nearly 40 percent of black-footed albatross, as well as endangered short-tailed albatross.

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