Meet Wisdom The Albatross – and She’s 68!
No, this is not fake news. The U.S Fish & Wildlife Service have confirmed that Wisdom, a Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis but often referred to simply as a ‘Gooney Bird’) has recently hatched her 36th chick at the ripe old age of 68.
Wisdom the albatross was born in 1951 and has been tagged 8 times for tracking purposes since 1956. In that time it’s believed that she and her current partner – she’s almost certainly outlived many – have spent much time at sea and like most of their species they have returned annually to Midway Atoll in the Pacific where the USFWS has been keeping an eye on them. However, Wisdom is unusual in that she has laid an egg every year since 2006 whilst most albatross couples take a year or two off.
But it seems to us that what is remarkable about Wisdom isn’t her longevity itself but the fact that she has managed to survive on an island an in an area that is plagued by plastic detritus. It’s said that almost every bird in the region will have varying amounts of plastic in its stomach. How this remarkable creature has survived this environment for such a long time is puzzling.
There’s a great little video issued by the USFWS here showing us why Wisdom is so important. Take a look – it’s worth a few minutes of your time.