The California National Park is the only NPS unit that manages a release site for captive bred California condors – a critically endangered species. Park officials announced the good news that there are two active nests this season on its Instagram page, and expressed hope that by this winter, park visitors will be able to watch the birds circling overhead.
Calling the chicks ‘adorable fluffballs,’ the post introduces Condor 1215, 44 days old and Condor 1238, 68 days old. To check up on the nestlings, biologists used ropes to access the nests on belay. They covered the chicks’ eyes with baby socks to help minimize stress then examined the birds and took blood samples to test for lead. Lead content from bullets in meat can be fatal to baby Condors. Both chicks were deemed fit and healthy with very low lead levels.
A photo posted by on
Biologists will continue to conduct health checks until the chicks are four months old, at which point they will be outfitted with a radio transmitter and ID tag. Chicks remain in the nest for approximately six months and will stay in their nesting area for several months after fledging.
A New World vulture, the California condor is the largest North American land bird. It became extinct in the wild in 1987, but has since been reintroduced to northern Arizona, southern Utah, the coastal mountains of California and northern Baja California in Mexico. Pinnacles National Park is considered one of the best places in the world to see California condors.
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Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.