Wisdom the Albatross is 62, the oldest known wild bird in the world, and she just had a baby. No, she didn’t decide to “wait until she had her albatross career” — in fact, she’s already hatched five sets of eggs, and is mother to as many as 35 albatrosses. Apparently she’s just popping out eggs at 62 because she’s like “bitches, I am the oldest wild bird there is and I will have as much bird sex as I please.”
Wisdom is in good shape overall. She is estimated to have flown over 3 million miles in her life, which isn’t necessarily related to her superpowered bird-womb but is very impressive and suggests that a healthy physique may contribute to late-life fertility, if you are an albatross.
There’s a reason scientists know how old Wisdom is, and it’s not because they were fascinated that she was hot enough to have trapped a young baby daddy. It’s also not because they particularly give a shit about albatrosses, at least not out of the goodness of their hearts. The reason scientists took an interest in albatrosses is that the crazy things were flying into Navy planes and dying and making the planes crash and slimy things crawl with legs upon a slimy sea and so on, and naturally the Navy did not find this at all amusing, so they enlisted researchers to find out what was up.
The scientists track the albatrosses with tags, and the tags tend to fall off, so there’s a lot of albatrosses out there that the Navy knows fuck-all about, which means there even may be even older ones having babies. But Wisdom is the oldest one they know about. Wisdom herself went through six tags. Are you wondering how they figured out who she was if she wasn’t wearing a tag? You are not alone. And of course, with a snuggly little baby albatross beside her, Wisdom is not alone either.
- World’s Oldest Bird Has Baby, Washington Post