satellite view from PMNM
E komo mai; welcome! Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is surrounded by a lei of foam in the middle of the North Pacific; it's a beautiful, special place.

Not only are there albatross on Midway, but many other interesting kinds of wildlife, both on the land and in the sea. Please enjoy exploring FOAM, an educational blog actively done while on Midway from May through August 2010. Posts are added from off-Midway, as information becomes available. If you're interested in a particular topic, please use the search box or the alphabetical list of "labels" along the left side of the blog page.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An Albatross Named Wisdom

Wisdom with her chick; photo by John Klavitter
Aloha!  I haven't written a post on our FOAM blog in a loooooooong time.  But here I am again!  And it's because I want to tell you something special...very special.  This is a picture of my good friend, Wisdom, who is raising her chick over by Charlie Barracks.  We know it's Wisdom cuz she's da only one with the red bracelet that says Z333.

Go to the titles at the top of this page.  Click on the one called "Midway Map."  See the green box with L10 in it?  That's where I live, near the Fish and Wildlife Office...when I'm not flying over the North Pacific Ocean.  But my friend Wisdom, she lives near L7.  These are the neighborhoods for Laysan Albatross.  The green boxes with letter B are for the Black-footed Albatross.  'Course we LAALs are all over Midway Atoll, but these green boxes are the only places where the scientists come every week to see how our chicks are doing.  It's called measuring our "reproductive success."

Talk about reproductive success!  Wisdom wins da prize!  She's 60 years old!...and she's still laying eggs and hatching out babies!  Check out da picture; cute chick, yeah?  Wisdom is da oldest LAAL on the least from all the Laysan albies that have been banded.  Most little chirpy song birds live only a year or two.  No wonder she's called Wisdom, living for 60 years.  Wisdom's reproductive success has made the news; check out "Oldest known wild bird returns to Midway Atoll to raise chick."  She's famous!

My brother's sister-in-law's uncle told me about an albatross down in New Zealand called Grandma.  She lived to be 60 years old before she disappeared, so we think she's gone from this world.  We never met her, though, cuz we don't fly down there...and Grandma never flew up here. 

Anyway, just thought I'd let you know that we're celebrating here on Midway -- congratulations, Wisdom; maika`i!


Darcy Pattison said...

Who named her Wisdom?

Barb said...

Hi Darcy,

That's a good question! The short answer is, "I don't know, but I'll send some emails and try and find out, and then post the info here."

For now, the little bit longer answer is Wisdom was probably named by U.S. Geological Survey scientist Chandler Robbins in 1956 when he banded her. Here's an interesting report--