A Laysan albatross named Wisdom - who is the oldest known wild bird - not only turned a whopping 70 years old this year but also reared a new chick. This chick is at the very least her 40th one, and that is a feat which stretches far and wide the knowledge humans have of how birds live.
Wisdom, according to Gulf Doday, was banded in 1956 and is the oldest known wild bird in history. She may even be older than 70, being that her age was estimated to be 5 years at the time - earliest age an albatross reaches maturity. "Last month her new chick hatched on the Midway Atoll – a tiny scrap of land, 1,300 miles northwest of Hawaii in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean."
She has been raising her little chicks with her current mate, named Akeakamai, since about 2010, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Albatrosses are known as birds who mate for life, but considering Wisdom's amazing age, she has had a couple mates over the years, having outlived her previous companions.
Until early in the 21st century, it was thought that Laysan albatrosses lived around 40 years, but "Wisdom has rewritten the natural history books." "We don't know exactly how many chicks she's raised, but certainly at least 35 based on what we know about her recent years performance," said US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Beth Flint.
For more wholesome bird stories, read about these two pelicans who have been trying to have a baby for six years and finally succeeded.