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It’s always big news in America when a woman older than 60 gives birth. It’s even bigger news when that woman’s the oldest wild bird in the world! Widsom, as she’s been named, hatched a chick in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at 62 years old – stunning scientists and bird lovers alike.
But the Laysan albatross is no stranger to motherhood. She’s like the Octomom (times four) of the bird world, raising at least 30 to 35 chicks during her lifetime. To hatch a chick this late in life, however, is beyond impressive to scientists. It provides them valuable information on how to further protect these near-extinct creatures.
Wisdom’s quite the traveler, too. She’s logged about 50,000 miles a year as an adult. That’s more than 3 million miles of airtime, which will make me think twice when I see a bird in flight from now on. Wisdom just seems to keep going and going and impressing scientists who’ve been studying her since day one at the conservation area.
Whether realizing it or not, we have a huge impact on how long these birds will be around. Picking up trash and respecting their space will help make all the difference. You’ll likely see such birds nesting on Flat Island or the Mokulua Islands, both located in Kailua and both bird sanctuaries. So please enjoy their beauty from afar and help save these near-extinct creatures of the islands.
Photo Courtesy: USFWS Pacific