• Big-berry manzanita and the skyline of the high peaks greet visitors who explore the steep and narrow portion of the High Peaks trail. NPS Photo|Sierra Willoughby


    National Park California

Images from the CondorCam


A hidden, motion-activated camera near one of the bait sites takes still photos of all of the free-flying condors at Pinnacles National Park as they feed or balance on a scale, which has been disguised as a comfortable perch. The CondorCam allows biologists to track the weight of the birds, which gives an indication of physical health.

Biologists can check the status of the transmitters located on the condor's wings and look for any obvious health issues. Still camera photos also allow the biologists to observe which condors regularly spend time together and has helped biologists identify breeding pairs. Some other activities the hidden camera captures are condors preening their feathers, fighting with other condors for the opportunity to stay on the scale, and other species investigating the bait site.


Did You Know?

A close-up view of rhyolite breccia

Rhyolitic breccia is the rock that the High Peaks and other rock formations at Pinnacles are made of. Rhyolite breccia is composed of lava sand, ash, and angular chunks of rock that were explosively ejected from the Pinnacles Volcano.