“Wisdom” – world’s oldest seabird is back at Midway Atoll

Wisdom Dec 2014
Click to enlargeDaniel W. Clark/USFWS

Wisdom incubating her egg in December, 2014

Federal wildlife officials say the world’s oldest known seabird has returned to Midway Atoll…the Laysan Albatross named Wisdom was spotted at the remote island on Nov. 19.

An ornithologist first put an identification band on Wisdom in 1956. She’s estimated to be at least 64 years old, but she could be older.

Laysan albatrosses typically mate for life, but Wisdom has likely had more than one mate. She has raised as many as 36 chicks.

Breeding albatrosses and their mates will often spend about six months rearing and feeding their young. They forage hundreds of miles out at sea for squid or flying fish eggs.

My kind of bird, eh?

6 thoughts on ““Wisdom” – world’s oldest seabird is back at Midway Atoll

  1. Mikey says:

    “When albatrosses return to the Midway Atoll for their nesting season in November, there’s about one bird per square foot — that’s more than 1.5 million birds. The human population of the 2.4 square mile island, on the other hand, is only about 40. Residents are either studying the albatross and other native oceanic wildlife, supporting that research via management and maintenance work or keeping Henderson Field, a one-runway airport used for emergency landings, running. At this point, Midway truly belongs to the birds.
    There’s only one challenger to the albatrosses’ claim to Midway: plastic. This tiny speck of land — about 3,200 miles from San Francisco and 1,200 miles northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands — is blanketed not just by birds, but also by garbage.
    Plastic is so ubiquitous on Midway that every single albatross on the island will likely die with a stomach full of it. A typical albatross stomach includes “stuff about the size of a cigarette lighter – everything from golf balls to shotgun shells, or chunks of plastic that used to be something bigger,” according to Bret Wolfe, deputy manager of the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. When birds die and decompose, the plastic in their guts remains. “Anywhere you see a big pile of plastic but nothing else,” Wolfe said, “that’s where an albatross died.”
    Much of the plastic waste is brought back by the albatrosses. Their favorite food, squid, can easily be mistaken for plastic. The birds, renowned for their long distance flying abilities, snap up the squid-like plastic from waters near Alaska and carry it a thousand miles or more back to Midway. There, the birds either regurgitate it for their young or else ultimately die of natural causes with the garbage still in their stomachs. This feeding behavior brings over 10 thousand pounds of plastic to Midway every year, according to Anna-Marie Cook, a marine debris expert with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and that’s before factoring in the debris that washes ashore.” http://scienceline.org/2015/02/for-midway-atolls-birds-plastic-is-the-main-dish/

  2. Birth Announcement says:

    Wisdom, the oldest wild bird in the entire world, has had a baby. http://all-that-is-interesting.com/oldest-bird-baby U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that Wisdom, a 66-year-old Laysan albatross, successfully hatched another chick last Thursday at the U.S. Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. First tagged in 1956, Wisdom wasn’t seen again until 2002, 46 years later. She was most likely hatched at the refuge all those years back, explaining why she returns to have her babies there every year alongside her lifelong mate, Akeakamai.
    The Laysan albatross is classified as near threatened to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. See also http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/02/oldest-bird-wisdom-albatross-laysan/

  3. Santayana says:

    “Unsealed 75 years after the Battle of Midway: New details of an alarming WWII press leak” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/06/05/unsealed-75-years-after-the-battle-of-midway-new-details-of-a-critical-wwii-press-leak/ “This month, with leaks again making big news ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/05/29/the-fake-news-comes-from-within-the-white-house/ ), the United States marks the 75th anniversary of Midway, the epic 1942 battle that raged from June 4 to June 7 and turned the tide in the Pacific theater. The American assault on the Japanese fleet was “the single most decisive aerial attack in naval history,” according to historians Jonathan B. Parshall and Anthony P. Tully.
    In December, Elliott Carlson, a naval historian in Silver Spring, Md., along with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Naval Institute Press and the Organization of American Historians, among others, won a court fight to unseal the old testimony in the case.
    “This is the only time in American history that the United States government has … taken steps toward prosecuting a member of the media under the Espionage Act,” Katie Townsend, the Reporters Committee litigation director, said in an interview.”
    See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._Gay,_Jr.#World_War_II and “Torpedo Squadron 8 VT-8” (video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPbYilMzWpw

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.