Wisdom the Laysan albatross returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge!
Wisdom laid her newest egg on November 29, 2013 – exactly a year and one day since she laid her last egg! She and her mate are currently brooding the egg. Wisdom is the oldest banded, wild bird in the world and has nested consecutively at the refuge since 2008.
Laysan albatrosses mate for life and Wisdom has raised between 30 to 35 chicks since being banded in 1956 at an estimated age of 5. Laying only one egg per year, a breeding albatross will spend a tiring 365 days incubating and raising a chick. Most albatross parents then take the following year off (and who could blame them?) but not Wisdom.
Wisdom’s continued contribution to the fragile albatross population is remarkable and important. Her health and dedication have led to the birth of other healthy offspring which will help recover albatross populations on Laysan and other islands.
Albatross, particularly as chicks, face many threats. Chicks can’t fly away from invasive predators like rats or escape weather-related risks like flooding and hot spells. If they make it to adulthood, they face different threats. Manmade problems like marine debris and pollution are dangers faced by all albatross. Although the population of Laysan albatross has strengthened to roughly 2.5 million, 19 out of the 22 species of albatross are threatened or endangered.
Keep reading more about Wisdom and Laysan albatross on USFWS Pacific Region’s blog!
Post originally published on Conserving the Nature of the Northeast.