National Wildlife Refuge System

Watch Wisdom Lay Her Egg!

The 62-year old Laysan albatross Wisdom has laid an egg at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.
Credit: Pete Leary

December 9, 2013 - The world’s oldest banded bird is once again preparing to mother a chick. Wisdom is a 62 year old Laysan albatross on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific Ocean.  Wisdom and her mate were spotted on November 28 building up the nest around a new egg.

Watch Wisdom lay that egg here.

Seventy-one percent of all the Laysan albatross in the world nest on Midway. Albatross are monogamous. They lay one egg which is incubated by both male and female for about 65 days. Chicks hatch during late January to mid-February and fledge five to six months later.   Albatross do not mate until they are about six to eight years old. 

Nearly all albatross carcasses found on Midway contain marine debris.
Credit: Andy Collins/NOAA

One of the greatest dangers to albatross is marine debris.  They feed on anything that floats on the surface of the water, which often includes discarded plastic.  About five tons of plastic are accidentally fed to albatross chicks each year.

So what are the chances Wisdom’s chick will make it to adulthood? Read here.

Follow the Refuge System on Facebook and Twitter for progress reports on Wisdom and her egg.

Last updated: December 9, 2013