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Fleeting Wonders: A 64-Year-Old Bird Becomes a Mother Again

Wisdom and her mate at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in November. (Photo: Kiah Walker/USFWS)

Wisdom is having a baby at the age of 64.

Over the weekend of November 28, Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, landed at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific Ocean, the Washington Post reports. At the age of 64, she is there to lay an egg and raise the chick that hatches, making her the oldest known bird to lay an egg.

This is a remarkable feat, especially considering the hardy albatross had already earned her place in the record books. At this time last year, Wisdom laid an egg at the age of 63. This bested the efforts of a New Zealand albatross by the name of Grandma, who became the previous record holder several years ago, at the age of 61.

Albatrosses rarely reach their sixties, let alone continue to lay eggs at that age. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Post reports, Wisdom has birthed and raised as many as 35 chicks. Tagged by the USGS since 1956, she has since flown around three million miles, always returning to the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge to lay her eggs and rear her chicks.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to [email protected].