The oldest known wild bird in the world is a Laysan Albatross. She's a minimum of 68 years of age--and still raising chicks. Wisdom has survived tsunamis. And hurricanes. She survived the bustling world of a U.S. Naval Air Station that Midway was during the first few decades of her life. She's out-maneuvered any fish hooks flying off the backs of floating fishing factories called boats. Plus, she's managed to steer clear of deadly plastics--by not ingesting the sharp ones that could pierce her intestines and by expelling the tiny bits she's likely consumed. Wisdom has witnessed both the over-fishing of our oceans and the tremendous growth of plastic pollution. And yet she continues to astonish us by returning to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge to nest and raise a chick year after year. She was named Wisdom, because she's figured out how to survive for so long, teaching us just how long Laysan albatross can live.
We know Wisdom's age thanks to the US Fish & Wildlife Service's meticulous bird banding records. She was first banded in 1956, but it wasn't until 2006 that we really go to know her. That's when a second band was added to her right leg to make it easier to identify her. The band is bright red with the code: Z333.
The WISDOM BAND available here is made of 14 gauge aluminum, chosen specifically because it is not plastic. It's also soft enough to bend to fit your wrist. Each band is hand-stamped with the same band number as Wisdom's--Z333. The bands are 5/8" wide by 6" long that is curled by hand into a bracelet cuff. Each band is hand-made. Imperfections are to be expected.
$5 from the sale of every WISDOM BAND goes to Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Wisdom's name for albatross conservation work done on her and her fellow albatross' behalf. The mission of the Friends group is to support the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in its efforts to preserve, protect, and restore the biological diversity and historic resources of Midway Atoll, while providing opportunity for wildlife-dependent recreation, education, cultural experiences, and scientific research.