Wisdom is back, and she has an egg!
Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, banded wild bird, has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial. At least 69 years old, the first observation of Wisdom at her nest site took place on November 29. Biologists have confirmed that she has laid an egg. Wisdom and her mate are taking turns incubating the egg.
Each year millions of albatrosses return to Midway Atoll in the monument to nest and raise their young. Culturally, albatross species are kinolau (body form) of the Hawaiian deity Lono.
The birds’ return to land for mating coincides with the beginning of the makahiki season, occurring between October and November, and an important aspect to some practitioners’ ceremonies and practices during that time.
Wisdom and her mate, Akeakamai, like most pairs of albatrosses, return nearly every year to the same nest site. This behavior is known as “nest site fidelity” and it makes places with large colonies of nesting birds, like Midway Atoll, critically important for the future survival of seabirds like Wisdom.