Wisdom is a "beacon of hope" for the Laysan albatross, which faces threats such as ingesting ocean plastic.
PUBLISHED JANUARY 2, 2018
Wisdom, the albatross supermom, has done it again. At 67, the world's oldest known wild bird has laid an egg at her home on the Midway Atoll.
Wisdom and her mate, Akeakamai, return each year to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to nest and raise a single chick. On December 13, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) confirmed the pair were incubating a new egg.
In her long life, Wisdom has outlived several mates and raised anywhere from 30 to 35 chicks. (See National Geographic's pictures of animal mothers and babies.)
She's also remarkable for having logged an estimated two to three million miles since 1956—or four to six round trips to the moon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (Related: "Albatross's Effortless Flight Decoded—May Influence Future Planes.")
"It's just unprecedented that we have a bird that we know of that's 67 years old and still reproducing," says Kate Toniolo, deputy superintendent for the marine national monument.
"It makes you wonder—could there be a bird two nests away from Wisdom that's even older?"