The world’s oldest known wild bird, a Laysan albatross that is at least 68 years old, has laid another egg.
Wisdom, who returns each year to Midway Atoll to nest, was sighted back at her favorite nest site in late November, and biologists at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge have now confirmed she’s brooding.
The remarkable albatross is believed to have laid nearly 40 eggs over the course of her life, although it’s impossible to know the precise number.
She has single-wingedly transformed scientists’ understanding of albatross lifespans and the age limits on avian reproduction. The bird is “a world renowned symbol of hope for all species that depend upon the health of the ocean to survive,” according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wisdom is not just continuing to procreate — she’s doing it at an impressive clip, too. Many albatrosses take a year off between eggs, because the process of laying and incubating an egg is so energy-intensive.
But every year since 2006, Wisdom and her current mate, Akeakamai, have laid an egg at the same nest in Midway Atoll.
When not raising their young there, Wisdom and Akeakamai are world travelers. Albatrosses are renowned long-distance fliers, capable of soaring thousands of miles without even flapping their massive wings, more than 6 feet across.