The world’s oldest known breeding bird has just become a mother again at an astounding 66 years old.
The female Laysan albatross, called Wisdom, recently returned to the Midway Atoll, which is an island 1,200 miles northwest of Hawaii, and was found incubating an egg earlier this month.
She has been ringed since 1956, when she arrived on the same island to breed, and is now estimated to be at least 66 years old, due to the fact that the Laysan albatrosses’ usually reach their reproductive age at around five years old, but they can sometimes take up to 10 years to start breeding.
Wisdom is thought by conservation teams to have raised around 30-35 chicks during her lifetime, the most recent of those being just last year.
Although albatrosses mate for life, Wisdom has grown to such an impressive age that she is thought to have outlived her previous partner and therefore has been mating with a newfound male in recent years.
A seabird expert at the University of Sheffield, Professor Tim Birkhead, said that this newfound breeding of Wisdom is a great record. He said: “What is remarkable is that she is still producing fertile eggs with a viable embryo. In many species as they age their ability to produce fertile and viable eggs and embryos is reduced.”
Both Wisdom and her partner, named Akeakamaiare, will both share the parenting duties of looking after their new offspring, from taking turns incubating the egg, to both feeding the young chick once it hatches in mid February.
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Jess Murray is a wildlife filmmaker and conservation blogger, having recently returned from studying wildlife and conservation in South Africa, she is now striving to spread awareness about the truth behind faux conservation facilities throughout the world. You can follow Jess on Facebook Here