Wisdom returns to feed her chick

Fish and Wildlife Service announced on 3/21 that Wisdom has returned.


In the face of tremendous losses of Laysan and black-footed albatross at the Refuge - including an estimated 110,000 chicks and 2,000 adults - to the tsunami that overwashed portions of the Refuge, biologists are thrilled to discover that Wisdom survived, said Barry Stieglitz, Project Leader for the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex.


"Although wildlife biologists generally manage at the level of populations," Stieglitz said, "we, too, become entwined in the fates of individual animals. Wisdom is one such special creature. She has also provided us valuable information about the longevity of these beautiful birds - in her case over 60 years - and reinforces the importance of breeding adults in the population. It's also very humbling to know this 8-pound bird has been producing chicks longer than I have been alive."


The Refuge's other "celebrity" albatross' fate remains uncertain. The parents of the short-tailed albatross chick hatched on Midway's Eastern Island in January have yet to be seen. The chick - the first of its species hatched at Midway - was washed approximately 100 feet from its nest by the tsunami, but was later safely returned by Refuge biologists. Since the chick is incapable of fending for itself, the Service will carefully consider whether hand-rearing this bird is appropriate if it is determined that it is not being fed by its parents. It is believed these parents are at sea, gathering food for their chick like Wisdom was, and will be seen again. For more information on the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, please see: www.fws.gov/midway/


For more information on the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, please see: www.papahanaumokuakea.gov/


Tsunami images from Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Laysan Island are available at: www.flickr.com/photos/usfwspacific/collections/7215762628...


Photo Credit: Pete Leary/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Kat, dina j and 12 more people faved this
  • Kat 4y

    Happy tears, here. I've been anxiously awaiting word of Wisdom's fate...and that of her chick. It's great to get some happy news in the midst of all the sadness. Thanks for the update and the photo, you made my day.
  • sandpiper21212 4y

    A beautiful beautiful sight! I've become a fan of this remarkable bird, and am extremely happy and relieved to see her with her chick. Thanks for posting that wonderful photo!
  • raeluvstai 4y

    So glad to see she and her chick survived. Thanks for all the work you do.
  • Vladimir 4y

    Here in Russia we reported about Great Wisdom phenomenon. It is so great that it is OK.
  • Blitz Creek 4y

    ~Yee Haw!~
  • icarusfl 4y

    Thank goodness :)))
  • Doug Horvath1 4y

    I am Thankful for the work you all do, May Wisdom and her kin survive for many generations.
  • Kimba302 4y

    Excellent news! Glad for it.
  • darrelp79 3y

    Glad to see Wisdom is still going and she survived the tsunami! I was there in 2001 and have been greatly worried about the Laysan and the people who work there... so glad everyone was okay :)
  • wisdom95 3y

    wisdom is the king of all things in world,what i can say to you is that it you are going to do something think of tomorrow,because yesterday pass and today come but tomorrow never and ever com...form wisdom zealot one.Ghana volta region aflao
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Taken on March 22, 2011
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