It is a real wonder that the world’s oldest known wild bird known as the Laysan albatross still lays an egg despite its old age. The albatross supermom dubbed as “Wisdom” is about 67-years-old and she laid an egg at her house on the Midway Atoll.
Kate Toniolo, from the marine national monument, stated that it is just unprecedented that they have a bird that they know is 67-years-old and still reproducing. She further said this makes you wonder if there could be a bird two nests away from Wisdom that’s even older.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services confirmed that Wisdom and her mate Akeakamai were incubating an egg in December. The two albatrosses were taking turns caring for the egg and searching for food. It will probably hatch by mid-February. Its adult feathers will grow upon reaching five months, according to Science Alert.
Wisdom has raised about 30 to 35 chicks. Experts described her as incredibly lucky bird and an incredibly learned bird as it mastered the albatross challenging lifestyle.
One thing that makes albatrosses continue producing offspring is that they do not experience menopause. The Laysan albatrosses also have life-long monogamous bonds with their mates. And if their mates die, they go into one year or two years of mourning.
Laysan albatrosses are described as very large seabirds with very long and very narrow wings. Their neck is thin and their heads are large. They have dark gray-brown upper wings and white underwings. They usually soar high and glide over the waves and fly up into the sky. They catch squid and other creatures with their bills while sitting on the water at night, according to All About Birds.
The population of Laysan albatross reduced in the 1990s and early 2000s. However, it is starting to recover, yet still remains listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. They are vulnerable to lead poisoning, plastic ingestion, conflict with aircraft, and human disturbances.
Bob Peyton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Project Leader for Midway Atoll refuge and Memorial, said an albatross egg is important to the overall albatross population. He further said that each egg is significant in maintaining the survival of the colony. He added that albatrosses do not always lay an egg each year, but when they do, they only raise one chick at a time.