Wisdom, the 66-year-old albatross that continues to nest at the place of origin


The animal will rest and breed for more than six decades on the Midway Islands, and has been monitored since 1956. Biologists at the Midway Nature Reserve in the Pacific have identified a female laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis) albatross, which is at least 66 years old and continues to nest on the same site.

Named Wisdom, the bird, recognized through a red ring that has placed on the right leg, was discovered by a volunteer who works in the biology program of the reserve since the beginning of the month, announced today the Federal Office of Fisheries and the United States Wildlife.

This animal will rest and breed for more than six decades on the Midway Islands, a 6.2-mile-long atoll about 1,900 kilometers’ northeast of Honolulu.
The ring was placed by an ornithologist in 1956, and after that, the seabird was already responsible for the birth of a few dozen new albatrosses. The companion of Wisdom, baptized of Akeakamai (Hawaiian word that means love for wisdom) was seen near the nest the 23 of November.

The park team eagerly awaited the return of the bird, admitting also that it could pause a year in the breeding, as many albatrosses do. This pause is for plumage change, as strong, healthy feathers are important for birds that spend 90 percent of the time in the air, traveling thousands of miles a year over the oceans for food.

Albatrosses, like other seabirds, incubate eggs in the same nest for many years, and according to those responsible, the bird is at least 66 years old, since it was first identified in 1956 by biologist Chandler Robbins, who has 98 years today. If he had been born that year, he would have been 60 years old, but experts note that he had already done a stance this year and the laysan albatross species is only sexually mature after five or six years and only begins to reproduce successfully after 8 to 10 years.

Experts estimate that in his life Wisdom, which is considered the oldest wild bird known in US territory, has traveled nearly 5 million kilometers.