Oh, baby! At 67, Wisdom the albatross is a mom again

Published: Feb. 22, 2018 at 6:36 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2018 at 1:39 PM HST
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(Image: NOAA)
(Image: NOAA)

PAPAHANAUMOKUAKEA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Most people retire at 67.

Good thing Wisdom is no mere human. The albatross is the world's oldest known breeding bird in the wild.

And on Feb. 6, at 67 years young, she became a mother again.

Papahanaumokuakea officials announced the news Thursday, and said Wisdom and mate Akeakami welcomed their new chick on Midway Atoll.

Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument are home to over three million seabirds. They return to Midway Atoll each year to rest, lay eggs, and raise their chicks.

A single egg is laid and incubated for a little over two months.

And after the chick hatches, it will still be another five months before it will leave the nest.

In that time, Wisdom and her mate, like all albatross parents, take turns incubating the egg or caring for the chick.

"Midway Atoll's habitat doesn't just contain millions of birds, it contains countless generations and families of albatrosses," said Kelly Goodale, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge biologist. "If you can imagine when Wisdom returns home she is likely surrounded by what were once her chicks and potentially their chicks. What a family reunion."

Wisdom and her mate welcomed their last chick into the world in 2017.

And over the course of her lifetime, scientists believe Wisdom has successfully raised more than 30 albatross chicks.

The Midway Atoll refuge is home to the largest albatross colony in the world.

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