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HomeHot NewsWisdom, World's Oldest Known Wild Bird, Spotted Once Again At Age 71

Wisdom, World’s Oldest Known Wild Bird, Spotted Once Again At Age 71


Knowledge, a Laysan albatross believed to be the world’s oldest wild fowl, has returned once more to the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service introduced Thursday.

The 71-year-old, who was noticed on Thanksgiving Day, has reappeared on the identical nest website within the North Pacific for many years, the company wrote on Facebook. Over the course of her life, she’s raised round 30 chicks. Final yr, scientists discovered that she had become a grandmother after certainly one of her offspring was noticed serving to increase a chick of its personal.

Wisdom and one of her chicks in 2018.
Knowledge and certainly one of her chicks in 2018.

Bob Peyton/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through AP

Nonetheless, Knowledge’s longtime mate, Akeakamai ― whose identify means “lover of knowledge” within the Hawaiian language ― has not been seen on the wildlife refuge this yr. The pair’s most up-to-date chick hatched in early 2021, when Knowledge was at the least 70.

Wisdom and her mate, Akeakamai, in 2015.
Knowledge and her mate, Akeakamai, in 2015.

Dan Clark/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through AP

Scientists can establish Knowledge through an aluminum ID mounted round her ankle. Renowned ornithologist Chandler Robbins first banded her in 1956 and gave her a brand new band in 2002. Robbins died in 2017 on the age of 98, greater than six a long time after first assembly Knowledge.

“I wish to assume that in all her years Knowledge has discovered to keep away from a lot of the hazards that threaten seabirds,” Robbins told Living Bird magazine shortly earlier than his dying. He famous that upon initially encountering Knowledge, she was nesting at a location nicely shielded from tsunamis however near overhead wires and visitors, which might pose dangers to seabirds. When he recaptured her years later, he mentioned, she had moved to a brand new nesting website free from such hazards.

Wisdom tends to an egg in 2016.
Knowledge tends to an egg in 2016.

Dan Clark/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through AP

There are some Knowledge truthers who don’t imagine it could possibly be the identical fowl returning yr after yr, The Washington Post reported in 2016. Skeptics posit that somebody probably switched the ID band to a brand new albatross sooner or later. However scientists appear assured she’s the true deal, whereas acknowledging that her case is uncommon.

“Albatrosses are extraordinarily long-lived however the uncommon factor about Knowledge is she’s a lot older than different birds,” seabird ecologist Richard Phillips told The New York Times final yr.

After Knowledge, the next-oldest wild albatross identified to Phillips was 61, he mentioned.

On social media, information of Knowledge’s return this yr was met with celebration and appreciation for her resilience.

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