Saturday, April 6, 2019

Wisdom a mom again at 68

Akeakamai and his chick 
April 6, 2019

Wisdom, the Laysan albatross, and the world's oldest known banded bird, is a remarkable 68 years old. She and her mate, Akeakamai (which means "lover of wisdom") hatched another egg in February. You just know he has to be a younger fellow. 

I first discovered Wisdom in 2011. Her story is fascinating to many nature lovers. She was banded on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in 1956 by a guy named Robbins. She was already five or six years old at the time. Many years later, in 2002, Robbins went back to Midway Atoll and re-sighted her. Apparently, Wisdom had been missing for those many years in between. 

Her story gets even better. Wisdom and her consorts, of which there have been a few, have successfully raised at least 35 chicks. Wisdom and Akeakamai have produced an egg every year since 2006, another odd feat considering the Laysan albatross typically lays every other year. 

I know that someday I'm going to check in on Wisdom and find she's missing again. Considering her age, the next time may be for good. It'll be a sad day but nothing can erase the story of this singular life and the joy she brings to millions simply by being herself. 

Live long and prosper, Wisdom. 

KC Kendricks 

Some Laysan albatrosses are dying as chicks after being fed small pieces of plastic. The plastic builds up in their stomachs until they can't eat and they starve to death. No one has to turn into a recycling fanatic to make a difference by being aware within their daily life. All of us doing what we can when we can does have a long-term impact. 

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