Skip Navigation

Where in the World is Wisdom?

Kukini Flapping 520x347


Kūkini will be 3 months old in a few days! The chick has hit some exciting milestones in the journey to adulthood. Kūkini's legs are now strong enough to stand and the chick is stretching in preparation for flight. The adult feathers are becoming more visible through the chick downy. Kūkini appears to be well fed and going strong here on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Papahānaumokuākea. Still keeping an eye out for Wisdom and Akeakamai! 

Photos by A. Olliffe/USFWS 
Friends of Midway Atoll NWR 
USFWS_Pacific Region
USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System 
USFWS Migratory Birds 

LEARN much more about Wisdom!  SEE News Release/Images/Video at:  FOLLOW Wisdom at Twitter@HawaiiReef; LIKE the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Facebook Page; and CHECK-out a past chronology of videos and photos from Midway Atoll Refuge of Wisdom. Wisdom and Akeakamai will continue to feed and care for Kūkini for months to come!  

Wisdom’s Story!   


  • New Beginnings 03.27.2016

    Kukini 3-27-16

    On this day of celebrating new beginnings the Fish and Wildlife Service reports that Wisdom's chick Kūkini is now 2-months-old and seems to be strutting her downy feathers just fine. Kūkini will remain completely dependent on occasional seafood meals delivered by her parents for another 3 more months. 

    Photo by: Carmen Antaky/USFWS
  • Starstruck! 03.11.2016

    Cynthia Martinez 150x112

    Cynthia Martinez, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, visited Wisdom's chick, Kūkini this week! Wisdom and her mate continue to intermittently show-up to feed their growing chick while Kūkini explores her surroundings in the safety net provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Kūkini means 'messenger' that symbolizes hope and resiliency in the face of many threats these seabirds encounter. 

  • Kūkini gets a band! 03.03.2016

    2016 Kukini banded 712x480

    Now that Kūkini is occasionally left on her own, Fish and Wildlife Service Volunteer Kristina McOmber and Biologist Meg Duhr-Schultz waited for the opportune moment when neither parent was around to band Wisdom and Akeakamai's chick. This highly visible band (Pink 100) is temporary until Kūkini grows more and is able to safely wear a permanent aluminum band. For now, while the chicks on Midway Atoll Refuge are able to waddle around we want to be able to locate Kūkini!

  • Akeakamai is on the Nest! 02.13.2016

    2016 Goo in Evening Light on chick 150x113

    The Polls Have Closed!  Wisdom's Mate Name is Akeakamai!

    Akeakamai is a Hawaiian word, pronounced (Ah Kee Ah Ka Maee), that means a love of wisdom, seeker after knowledge, philosopher, scientist, scholar. For more information go to  Ahonui, meaning patience, was a close second for the first 4 days until Akeakamai pulled out in the lead by day 5 of the 7 day voting process #namewisdomsmate. Thanks to all who participated! Over 217 votes were caste to come up with the final name selection.  


  • Chick Hatched to Oldest Known Bird in the Wild, Wisdom! 02.08.2016

    2016 Wisdom and Chick watching 712x480

    Wisdom gets to know Kūkini (Hawaiian word which means "messenger") upon arriving to Midway Atoll on February 7 after an extended time at sea. Her mate, Akeakamai, was on the nest for the hatching on February 1, 2016. 

    Press Release

  • Wisdom's Mate Needs a Name! 01.27.2016

    Wisdom and Mate 520x347

    Update: Please vote on your favorite name now through Saturday 2/13: Twitter Poll

     Help us come up with a name for Wisdom’s mate. Please tweet your ideas with #NameWisdomsMate between now and 02/03/16. Wisdom’s Team will then sort through the selection to narrow down the list to the top 4. Then we’ll let you vote on it! If you prefer you can email your recommendation to  

    Twitter: @HawaiiReef

  • Tag! You're It! 01.21.2016

    Evening GOOO

    Wisdom's mate (check out latest video) is taking his turn on the nest while Wisdom is at sea fattening up on oily squid and yummy fish treats.

  • I'll Be Home for Christmas" 12.25.2015

    Wisdom Christmas Morn 150x113

     "I'll be Home for Christmas"....  


    ....and taking very, very long naps.  On Christmas morning, Wisdom, the world’s oldest known banded bird in the wild came home to Midway Atoll Refuge part of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. After 25 days foraging at sea Wisdom relieved her mate and assumed her incubation duties atop their carefully crafted nest.
  • Wisdom Lays an Egg 11.28.2015

    Wisdom and Mate


    Reminiscent of Beatles tune "When I'm Sixty Four," Wisdom, a Laysan albatross at least 64-years-old, laid an egg November 28 at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and was sighted preening her mate soon thereafter. Beginning December 1, the mate started his first long incubation shift (up to a month). Wisdom is currently at sea foraging for squid and fish eggs to replenish her body. Photo by: Kiah Walker/USFWS
  • Wisdom Returns to Midway!

    Wisdom Returns


     A Dose of Inspiration and Love Just in Time for Thanksgiving! A little bit a love goes along way (or make that a lot of love for the past 64 years). A Laysan albatross affectionately known as Wisdom appeared on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and a few days later appeared with her mate. She then headed out to sea but is expected back any day! 

    More Information

  • Wisdom's Egg Reported Missing!

    Wisdom on egg


    The staff reported today that Wisdom's egg was missing!  So what's up with the missing egg?  Of the over 694,000 albatross nests counted on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge during December 2014 approximately 30% of those eggs will not hatched and yes, some eggs have disappeared.  The island’s natural egg predators such the ruddy turnstones or bristle-thighed curlews can actually take eggs that are not closely attended.  Cockroaches and other scavengers such as mice can quickly move in to clean house and devour shell remnants of damaged eggs.  When this happens the albatross pair abandons their nest and tries again next year.  Laysan albatross also occasionally skip a year or even two as they use their precious energy resources to complete a full molt while at sea or simply take a breather to replenish their energy after accomplishing an exhaustive seven-month incubation and chick rearing effort.  Wisdom and her mate have been sighted and they appear to be fine. We are hopeful Wisdom will return next year to start nature’s cycle of rearing chick number 30 something!  

  • Nature’s Remarkable Gift

    Wisdom incubating egg


    A Laysan albatross, named Wisdom − the world’s oldest known bird in the wild who has been soaring the Pacific Ocean for over 63 years − recently laid an egg on Pihemanu (Hawaiian place name for Midway Atoll meaning “loud din of birds”). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Manager Dan Clark captured incredible moments of Wisdom busy preening and incubating her egg on Midway Atoll Refuge.
    Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) and here’s to a New Year full of hope and promise for our native wildlife.

    More Information
    Flickr Album

  • An Early Holiday Gift

    Wisdom and Her Mate First Sighting 11.22.214


    Wisdom (left), laid her egg on December 3, 2014.  Wisdom has a highly visible band labeled Z333 which allows Fish and Wildlife Service staff to recognize her from a distance. Her mate has the band number G000.

    Midway Atoll is currently crowded with hundreds of thousands of albatross sitting on their nests. The male and female are both busy either feeding themselves at sea or trading places with their mate to share in the incubation duties. We will keep an eye on Wisdom, and her nest and post updates as the egg's due date nears. Photo by B. Wolfe/USFWS

    Check out our photo and video gallery of Wisdom this nesting season along with the chick this pair reared last season.or by checking out the Multimedia tab on this website.

Last Updated: May 06, 2016
Return to main navigation