By Bill Chappell

The world’s oldest known wild bird, a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, has hatched yet another chick at Midway Atoll in the Hawaiian archipelago. Biologists first identified and banded Wisdom in 1956; she is at least 70 years old.

Wisdom’s latest chick successfully hatched in February, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s office in the Pacific Islands.

JON BRACK/FRIENDS OF MIDWAY ATOLL NWR
image caption Wisdom’s chick hatched in February

“Wisdom laid her egg sometime during the last few days of November,” the wildlife agency says. “Soon after, Wisdom returned to sea to forage and her mate Akeakamai took over incubation duties.”

The pair have been hatching and raising chicks together since at least 2012, the wildlife agency said.

Wisdom, a mōlī or Laysan albatross, and the world’s oldest known banded wild bird, hatched a new chick at Midway Atoll on Feb. 1.
Jon Brack/Friends of Midway Atoll

In the past decade, Wisdom has been astounding researchers and winning fans with her longevity and devotion to raising her young. She has flown millions of miles in her life, but she returns to her same nest every year on Midway Atoll, the world’s largest colony of albatrosses.

To feed her hatchlings, Wisdom and her mate take turns flying as much as 1,000 miles on a single outing, spending days foraging for food along the ocean’s surface.

“Each year that Wisdom returns, we learn more about how long seabirds can live and raise chicks,” said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Beth Flint, who is the supervisory wildlife biologist at the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

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