Albatross named Wisdom astounds scientists by producing chick at age 62 (Photos)

The oldest known living wild bird in the world has given birth to a healthy hatchling. The 62-year-old bird, “Wisdom,” last made headlines in 2011, when the albatross survived the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami.

Wisdom has defied the odds in many aspects: She’s already lived nearly twice as long as the average Laysan albatross. She was given her name after being tagged by a U.S. Geological Survey researcher in 1956. The USGS said in a statement that since being tagged, Wisdom has flown an estimated 2 million to 3 million miles, or “four to six trips from the Earth to the Moon and back again with plenty of miles to spare.”

“To know that she can still successfully raise young at age 60-plus, that is beyond words,” USGS bird banding program chief Bruce Peterjohn said. “While the process of banding a bird has not changed greatly during the past century, the information provided by birds marked with a simple numbered metal band has transformed our knowledge of birds.”

And while there have been other albatross birds spotted in the wild who are estimated to be around 50 years old, Wisdom is the only one on record to have given birth at such an advanced age. Though, some scientists may have seen the feat coming, when Wisdom gave birth two years ago to another chick, and has given birth to a total of five chicks since 2006.

“While I have grown old and gray and get around only with the use of a cane, Wisdom still looks and acts just the same as on the day I banded her,” said retired USGS scientist Chandler Robbins, who was in his 40s when he first banded Wisdom in 1956.

In 2001, Robbins “rediscovered” Wisdom, helping the USGS determine her age and track her record-setting reproductive habits.

Because the Laysan albatross mates for life, USGS officials estimate that Wisdom has had to take on several “much younger” male partners over the years to help foster an estimated 35 chicks.

“I’m trying to straighten out the record,” Robbins said. “It takes a lot.”

Responses to "World’s oldest known living wild bird gives birth at age 62"

  1. Unknown says:

    that is one wise beautiful bird! I know about the perils of the albatross and plastic pollution and I am so pleased to have gained this information about this birds survival!

  2. abigayl says:

    Gods creatures are a constant marvel! The Albatross is an amazing bird because of it's habit of long flights of thousand of miles. This one is even more so, because there is documentation to confirm her age. What a wonderful bird!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Our wildlife ids so amazing! I wish human beings would be more proactive in not taking their habitats and wiping them out in many, many ways.

  4. Unknown says:

    Amazing, majestic bird, and raising a chick at 62 !!! Wow !

  5. Anonymous says:


  6. lou says:

    wow,,really amazing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the heartwarming story. This really illuminates the inherent need for continuity in all life.It also appears that Wisdom is a "couger". He He!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful bird, when I was in the US Navy I watched them soar on the wind currents in beautiful flight, never flapping their wings.

  9. Anonymous says:

    in french, we say: c'est dans les vieilles casserolles qu'on fait la meilleure soupe. it means: in old pots , we make the best soupe! XD

  10. Unknown says:

    Amazing ! God is great. If only we humans will stop destroying wildlife habitats and also stop polluting our own. we have so much to learn from the creatures that inhabit this earth.

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