Wisdom the famous Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis of Midway Atoll in the North Pacific laid her latest egg on 29 November 2013 - exactly a year and one day since she laid her egg in 2012. Wisdom is thought to be the oldest banded wild bird in the World and has bred successfully every year on Sand Island in the refuge since at least 2008 (click here).
“Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, has come home once again to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Wisdom is the world's oldest known living wild bird. She was banded on Dec. 10, 1956 and was estimated to be at least five years old at the time of banding. The USFWS Pacific Region and Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge celebrates the return of Wisdom an ancient seafarer and a welcome symbol of hope.”
Wisdom is recognized by her red colour band Z333. Last year her mate was banded with colour band G000, and he is back again this year. Remarkably Wisdom was videoed this year in the act of laying her egg (click here).
Click here to view this and previous season’s photos of Wisdom
Meanwhile the equally famous pair of Short-tailed Albatrosses P. albatrus on Midway’s Eastern Island is currently attempting its third breeding attempt after having laid an egg last month. The pair did not breed in the previous season but successfully fledged chicks in 2011 and 2012 (click here and here).
With thanks to Pete Leary, Wildlife Biologist, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge for photographs and information.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 13 December 2013