“The mōlī is a high-flying bird, so those feathers were more important because (the birds) fly higher in the sky and were closer to the gods,” explained Gerry Miyamoto of Nā Kiamanu and former regent with the Daughters of Hawai’i. In 1909, this report motivated Theodore Roosevelt to designate the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as one of the first federally protected seabird reserves in the country in an attempt to stop the wanton destruction of seabirds, particularly albatrosses. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands constitute 99.7% of the population. Furthermore, albatross were easy to approach because of their instinct to stay on the nest at all cost, making them vulnerable to prey by non-native predators and humans. [4], The USGS have tracked Wisdom since she was tagged, and they have logged that Wisdom has flown over three million miles since 1956 (approximately 120 times the circumference of the Earth). Their courtship displays are complex and consist of flying backwards, vertically, and in large, vertical circles. She is at least 69-years old and a world renowned symbol of hope for all species that depend upon the health of the ocean to survive. In 1956 Midway Atoll was a bustling U.S. Albatrosses lay one egg per year and have monogamous mates for life. Wisdom, a female Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis and the world's oldest known banded wild bird, has returned to the USA’s Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the northern Pacific. This act was the first cornerstone of North American efforts that protect birds (such as Wisdom) that migrate across international borders. [9] In February 2019 the egg hatched. This treaty also connects the U.S. Due to the U.S. bird banding program rigors and meticulous tracking process, the number was traceable to a bird banded on Midway, December 10, 1956. [1] Together with her chick, she survived the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that killed an estimated 2,000 adult Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses, and a much larger number of chicks, at the refuge. Naval Air Station supporting thousands of military personnel their families and contractors. Wisdom, the oldest known banded bird in the wild, is a female Laysan albatross that nests within the world's largest albatross colony on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. [7][8] In December 2018, USFWS Pacific Region reported that Wisdom was back on Midway Atoll and had laid an egg. Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial Home. [15], Wisdom with one of her chicks, in March 2011, "Albatross named Wisdom astounds scientists by producing chick at age 62", "Wisdom the albatross lays yet another egg", "Wisdom the Laysan Albatross Lays an Egg - at Age 63", "Wisdom the Albatross, the World's Oldest Known Wild Bird, Has Yet Another Baby", "Oldest Known Wild Bird Survives Tsunami", "Wisdom, the World's Oldest Known, Banded Wild Bird has a new chick", "The World's Oldest Known Wild Bird Is About to Become a Mum at 67, Baffling Scientists", "World's Oldest Wild Bird Returns to Midway! Fish & Wildlife Service One of Wisdom's chicks Hatched before plastic became ubiquitous, Wisdom and … By Megan Nagel, U.S. Wisdom, the oldest known banded bird in the wild, is a female Laysan albatross that nests within the world's largest albatross colony on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Mōlī, Hawaiian for Laysan albatross also means a Hawaiian tattooing implement (their bones were excellent for tattooing), graced every island in the Hawaiian archipelago nesting by the millions for thousands of years. The person to attach the first tag was Chandler Robbins, who was a senior scientist at the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Albatross have strong nest site fidelity instincts. She is at least 66-years old and a world renowned symbol of hope for all species that depend upon the health of the ocean to survive. [10], The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has stated, "Wisdom’s continued contribution to the fragile albatross population is remarkable and important. And no mom works harder than the 66 year-old Laysan albatross named Wisdom. Today Midway Atoll is a National Wildlife Refuge within the largest marine conservation area in the U.S., Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Kāhili made from albatross feathers now grace  Queen Emma’s throne in Hawai’i. The female Laysan albatross is at least 69 years old. Wisdom hatched in or around 1951. When they reach breeding age they return to their home turf to find a mate and nest on the same remote island where they were reared as a chick and later become fixated on their own waterfront nest site location. In 2016, we celebrated a conservation milestone that has protected albatross for the past century upon the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty on August 16, 1916. The story of a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, began to unfold in 2002 when a miraculously-timed sighting of a band number on an albatross was documented by bird biologist Chandler Robbins.