Animals

Wisdom, World’s Oldest-Known Wild Bird, Is a Mom-to-Be at 67

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Can you imagine being a mom-to-be at age 67? That’s exactly what’s happening to one very strong bird named Wisdom as we speak. Based on what we know about this impressive mama so far, we think she deserves a medal!

Scientists are flabbergasted by Wisdom, the world’s oldest known wild bird. At the ripe age of 67, the Laysan albatross has laid yet another egg. Not only is it shocking that she has lived this long (Laysan albatrosses typically live only 50 years), it’s also jaw-dropping that she has accomplished the feat of returning to the same spot in Hawaii — the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument — to lay eggs year after year.

“It’s just unprecedented that we have a bird that we know of that’s 67 years old and still reproducing,” said Kate Toniolo, deputy superintendent for the national monument.

As you might have already guessed, this is not Wisdom’s first time becoming a mom. The bird has given birth not once, not twice, but anywhere between 30 and 35 times so far. Interestingly enough, she’s also outlived most of her mates in her lifetime.

Wisdom was first identified and tagged in 1956, by ornithologist Chandler Robbins, who estimated her to be about age 6 at the time. Robbins would later find Wisdom again in 2002, and re-tag her. Ever since then, she’s been quite a regular visitor at the national monument on Midway Atoll, where she returns every year with millions of other albatrosses to their cozy nesting grounds.

But unlike many of her peers, this albatross is defying norms for her species in terms of both longevity and reproduction. And when her latest adorable addition makes its debut into the world by mid-February, we’re sure she’ll continue to do so.

Congrats, Wisdom!

h/t Science Alert

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