By Jack Williams
Bird-lovers rejoiced recently, when it was discovered that the world’s oldest-known wild bird had laid a fresh egg… aged 67.
Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial, Hawaii, USA, to lay the egg.
The location sees millions of albatrosses return each year to nest and raise their young.
But the sight – stunning in itself – was overshadowed this year, when, on December 13, staff confirmed they had witnessed Wisdom’s partner, Akeakamai, incubating an egg.
Staff were able to photograph Akeakamai incubating the egg that day, while Wisdom foraged at sea.
It is estimated that Wisdom has flown more than a million years in her lifetime, covering thousands of miles each year to return to Midway Atoll.
Midway Atoll is home to more than three million seabirds, and since 2006, Wisdom has successfully raised and fledged at least nine chicks at the refuge.
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.
“If you consider that albatross don’t always lay an egg each year and when they do they only raise one chick at a time – each egg is tremendously important in maintaining the survival of a colony.”