World’s oldest wild bird hatches chick at the age of 70

The world’s oldest bird, just became mom, once again. Wisdom – a senior Laysan albatross, and definitely the most famous of the species, has recently hatched another chick, despite she over 70-year-old. The chick hatched on February 1st, at Midway Atoll – a wildlife refuge in the North Pacific, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) reports.

“Wisdom laid her egg sometime during the last few days of November,” a USFWS statement reads. “Shortly after Wisdom returned to sea to forage and her mate Akeakamai took over incubation duties. Albatross parents share incubation duties and once the chick hatches, share feeding duties.”

First identified over 70 years ago, back in 1956, Wisdom continues to baffle the scientists with her longevity. Don’t get me wrong, it is quite fascinating for a bird to reach such a wonderful age, but the lifespan of a Laysan albatross is 12 to 40 years.


“You wouldn’t expect a bird to be quite as much of an outlier as Wisdom is,” said Richard Phillips, a seabird ecologist. “Albatrosses are extremely long-lived but the unusual thing about Wisdom is she’s so much older than other birds.”


Albatrosses usually mate for life, but since Wisdom breaks any longevity records she had several partners over the years. Her last parter is Akeakamai and they’re together since 2012, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. While the number of chicks, she hatched over her life is unclear, wildlife officials believed she had 30 to 36 chicks, or even more.

“At least 70-years-old, we believe Wisdom has had other mates,” said Dr Beth Flint, a biologist with the USFWS. “Although albatross mate for life, they may find new partners if necessary, for example if they outlive their first mate.”