The oldest living banded wild bird, Wisdom, has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii. Wisdom, a 64-year-old Laysan albatross, spent a year at sea before returning to the refuge to reunite with her mate. Sighted on November 19, 2015, Wisdom flew back to sea but should return soon to lay her egg.
The Laysan albatross lays just one egg per year and spends around 130 days incubating and raising her chick. Once done with this process, Wisdom should fly away again; refuge workers estimate that she has covered approximately six million ocean miles in her lifetime.
National wildlife refuges help protect and provide habitat for birds, amphibians, mammals, fish, and reptiles, many otherwise threatened. View the current list of threatened/endangered species, including those located in Lowndes County, Georgia: the striped newt, the wood stork, the purple bankclimber mussel, the eastern indigo snake, and the gopher tortoise.
The National Wildlife Refuge system, run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, covers more than 150 million acres of land and water, with at least one refuge located in each state. Nearby wildlife refuges include the Banks Lake NWF and the Okeefenokee NWF in south Georgia and the St. Marks NWF and the Lower Suwanee NWF in north Florida. Daily and annual passes are available–a small price to spend time with wildlife friends such as sandhill and whooping cranes, monarch butterflies, American alligators, and black bears.