An albatross named Wisdom has been nesting in a sanctuary monitored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii.
In the wild, the albatross can live for up to 50 years, according to National Geographic. But Wisdom, at the ripe age of 63, is not quite ready to slow down just yet. She laid an egg on November 29, a year and a day after laying her previous one, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service noted in a post on the Tumblr feed of the U.S. Department of the Interior, America’s Great Outdoors.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Region has many more photos like this of Wisdom, her egg and her life on its own Tumblr feed, USFWS Pacific Region.
See Wisdom lay her egg at this video posted by the USFWS.
A seabird related to the petrel, from the Diomedeidae family, the albatross has the biggest wingspan of any bird on earth, with the longest, the wandering albatross, measuring up to 11 feet—longer even than the Andean Condor, whose wingspan is about 10 feet. Wisdom is a Laysan albatross, another of the dozen or so species of this bird in existence, the Fish and Wildlife Service said.
The albatross has lent itself to maritime myths and is most famously featured in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This seafarer is no stranger to Indigenous Peoples, either.
“Some albatross species were heavily hunted for feathers that were used as down and in the manufacture of women's hats,” National Geographic recounts. “The Laysan albatross was important to the indigenous hunters of the northern seas. Excavations of Aleut and Eskimo settlements reveal many albatross bones and suggest that the birds were an important part of human diet in the region.”