Experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say that Wisdom the Laysan albatross is the oldest bird they know of in the organization’s 90-year history. At 63, Wisdom hatched another chick in early February at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, the small atoll in the North Pacific between Honolulu and Tokyo. Researchers think she could have raised as many as 35 chicks in her life.
Wisdom, now sporting her 6th band as part of the USGS Bird Banding Program, was first banded in 1956. Researchers say that Wisdom has logged at least two to three million miles since she was first banded. That’s more than four to six trips from the Earth to the moon and back again.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as an EarthSky.org Editor, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She and her husband live in Tennessee, where they enjoy guitar playing and singing. They have 2 grown sons.