Where in the World is Wisdom?

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Want the latest scoop on Wisdom and her mate? Check out the headlines below.

LEARN much more about Wisdom! 
Read Tumblr and blogs from the field
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CHECK-OUT videos and photos of Wisdom from Midway Atoll Refuge  

  • Wisdom Has a New Chick 02.06.19

    2.06.19 Wisdom 150x110

    Wisdom, a Laysan albatross and world’s oldest known, banded wild bird has hatched a new chick at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial. She is at least 68 years old, has raised between 31-36 chicks in her lifetime, and is still going!

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  • World’s Oldest Wild Bird Returns to Midway! 12.06.2018

    12.18 Wisdom Returns 150x100

    Wisdom, a Laysan albatross and world’s oldest known, banded bird in the wild has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial!

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  • Oldest Known Wild Bird 02.22.18

    Wisdom's New Chick 2/18

    At 67, Wisdom, the world’s oldest known breeding bird in the wild, is a mother once more! On February 6th, approximately two months after Wisdom began incubating her egg, Wisdom and her mate Akeakamai welcomed their newest chick to Midway Atoll.


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  • Wisdom's Back 12.08.17

    wisdom's back

    Wisdom, a Laysan albatross and the world’s oldest known breeding bird in the wild, has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial. The approximately 67 year old Wisdom flies thousands of miles each year to return to Midway Atoll. Her arrival is overshadowed only by the news that she has also laid an egg.

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  • Time Flies 05.29.17

    Wisdoms Chick June 17

    Wisdom and Akeakamai's chick is growing up so fast! Before we know it the chick will fledge and disappear out to sea for 3-5 years before returning to find a mate at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge within Papahānaumokuākea. The chick was banded with the number AB87, which is how we'll track the chick throughout its life.  

  • Wisdom and her new chick 2.16.17

    Wisdom with Chick Feb17 150x110

    Photo credit: Naomi Blinick/USFWS Volunteer 

    Wisdom, the world’s oldest known wild bird is a mom again! The Laysan albatross successfully hatched her newest chick at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial.

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  • Changing of the Guards 1.11.17

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    After a couple weeks of foraging in the open ocean, Wisdom has returned to relieve her mate, Akeakamai, from nest duty. Both Akeakamai and Wisdom will share the responsibility of incubating the egg, each taking turns going weeks without food and water while the other one forages, to assure the success of their chick. Volunteers report the egg looks healthy with no visible issues. If all goes well we should expect an early February hatch date. Photo credit:  Wieteke Holthuijzen/USFWS 

  • Dad's on the nest 1.04.17

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    The approximately 66 year old Laysan albatross was spotted on December 3 already incubating the newly laid egg. Eggs will generally take between 62 and 66 days to hatch and chicks will need care for an additional four months before they are able to fledge. Laysan albatross will only lay one egg a year, almost every year.

    Wisdom has been using the same nesting site on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument since at least 1956, when she was first banded. The landscape around her nest may look different but in 61 years our famous bird is still sitting pretty. Photo credit:  Wieteke Holthuijzen/USFWS 

  • Over 66 years and still going strong!

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    Wisdom, the oldest know wild banded bird, is back on the nest with a new egg to hatch. She was sighted on December 3, 2016 incubating an egg. Her mate, Akeakamai, is off foraging.

  • A Hui Hou! 7.21.16

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    It’s not easy being a Laysan albatross chick. Any number of things can happen from the time an egg is laid until that chick is comfortable with flight. Despite the odds, our beloved Wisdom has once again raised a chick to fledging age. Kūkini has made it months on end being fed by Wisdom and Akeakamai. Now an even greater challenge is ahead of Kūkini. The chick must learn to fly and feed. Kūkini, who has touched and inspired so many will disappear to the open ocean for at least 3-5 years before coming back to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge to find a mate. Good luck Kūkini!

  • Growing Up! 6.28.16

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    Kukini will be 5 months old on July 1st! Wisdom's chick still has a mohawk of downy feathers but is rapidly approaching fledging age. Wisdom and her mate, Akeakamai, spend minimal time on Midway Atoll Refuge now that the chick is maturing but have been dutiful in taking turns to feed their offspring. 

    Photo Credit: Yuki Takahashi/USFWS

  • 3 Months Old! 4.30.16

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    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

  • New Beginnings 03.27.16

    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! 03.11.16

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    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! 03.03.16

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    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! 02.13.16

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    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 www.wehewehe.org.  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! 02.08.16

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    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! 01.27.16

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    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 Ann_Bell@fws.gov.  

    Twitter: @HawaiiReef

  • Tag! You're It! 01.21.16

    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" 12.25.15

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     "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 11.28.15

    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! 

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  • Wisdom's Egg Reported Missing!

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    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.

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    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.