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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Wisdom is Back at Midway Atoll!

Last year she made headlines for surviving the tsunami.  Now, Wisdom, is back in the news.

She’s made her way back to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific, and she’s incubating an egg!

Wisdom the Laysan Albatross incubating an EggTaken December 1, 2011, Wisdom is back an incubating an egg!

Why is this such a big news?  Well, if you didn't know, Wisdom is world’s oldest Laysan albatross. The average lifespan for albatrosses ranges from 12 to 40 years.

Wisdom is at least 61.

She was banded in 1956 by a group of biologists who estimated she was at least five at the time. Over her lifetime, it's believed she's rasied 30-35 babies.  This winter, she returned to Midway to incubate an egg in her favorite spot behind the Bravo Barracks.

The Midway Atoll Refuge is home to nearly 3 million birds, including the world's largest population of Laysan Albatrosses – about 450,000 breeding pairs!

Laysans huge six-foot wingspans help them glide over the ocean while they spend July to October, their non-breeding months, 15 miles offshore.

Laysans return to nest during breeding season where they participate in elaborate courtship ‘dances’.  The female lays one egg which she and her mate take turns incubating. Chicks hatch in late January to mid-February.  Both parents feed their chick by regurgitation, often leaving the chick for several days while they obtain food out at sea.

Wisdom feeding a chickWisdom feeding her chick last March after weathering the tsunami, Photo: Pete Leary/USFWS

Once the chicks leave home, they will spend three to five years at sea, returning to their natal nesting colony to search for a mate and then breed. 

Fantastic!! Love Live Wisdom!!
# Posted By Lisa | 12/16/11 1:48 PM
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