Today there is something to be thankful for at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge – Wisdom, the world’s oldest living, banded, wild bird has returned! In the picture above, she can be seen (on the left) preening her mate. Wisdom’s mate has been waiting within a few feet of the pair’s former nest site since Wednesday, November 19. Wisdom was first spotted on November 22. we can celebrate by knowing she survived another year at sea and maybe returning very soon.

This isn’t the first time these two have readied their nest. Laysan albatrosses mate for life and Wisdom has raised between 30 to 35 chicks since being banded in 1956 at an estimated age of 5.  Laying only one egg per year, a breeding albatross will spend a tiring 365 days incubating and raising a chick.

Albatross face many threats. Chicks can’t fly away from invasive predators like rats or escape weather-related risks like flooding and hot spells.  If they make it to adulthood, they face different threats.  Manmade problems like marine debris and pollution are dangers faced by all albatross. Although the population of Laysan albatross has strengthened to roughly 2.5 million, 19 out of the 22 species of albatross are threatened or endangered.

Midway Atoll NWR is home to the largest albatross colony in the world and 70% of the world’s Laysan albatross population

For more information on this amazing long-lived matriarch of the seabird world go to:

Read about Wisdom’s return last year

WATCH Wisdom lay her egg!!

Read more about Wisdom

See more photos of Wisdom

Learn more about Laysan albatross on Midway

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