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Profiles of the Pinnacles Condors

Pinnacles Condor #310



Condor 310 hatched on 5/11/03 at the LA Zoo. In the flight pen, 310 perched away from all the other birds and usually fed once the others had finished. However, upon release in 2004, she quickly came into her own and rapidly ascended the dominance hierarchy. Now, 310 is arguably the most dominant condor at Pinnacles. She is the oldest Pinnacles condors and first successfully nested in the wild in 2010 with her mate 219, who is managed by Ventana Wildlife Society along with 574, their chick. 219 and 310 are still a pair and continue contributing to the California condor population with another chick, 745, born in the spring of 2014.

Pinnacles Condor #317

© Gavin Emmons


Hatched on 5/26/03 at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, condor 317 is the older sibling of 330. In 2009, she paired with a Ventana Wildlife Socieety released male, 318 and in February, 2010 laid the first condor egg seen inside Pinnacles National Park since 1898. Unfortunately, the nest failed. She and her mate had unsuccessful nesting attempts in 2011 and 2012 as well. Sadly, she lost her mate, condor 318 due to lead poisoning at the end of 2012. Hopefully she will find a new mate in the future and continue to be a dominant, breeding member of the Pinnacles flock.

Condor #330



A younger sibling of 317, condor 330 hatched on 4/19/04 at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Of the 2005 cohort, condor 330 is one of the most dominant. 330 is one of the largest birds in the flock and is known to fight back when confronted. 330 has taken to being a difficult bird to trap, he is elusive and enjoys spending time outside of the park.

Condor #340 stands over egg

Condor 340 with egg laid by his mate 444

NPS/Gavin Emmons


Upon arrival at the Pinnacles flight pen, 340 was by far the most active and aggressive juvenile. Perhaps he was aware of his distinction in being the first chick produced by the Oregon Zoo, where he hatched on 5/9/04. After a brief lull in activity immediately following his release, 340 started to expand his range and quickly ascended the dominance hierarchy.

He has been outfitted with a GPS tag and took a flight to southern California, within 50 miles of the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge condor release site. His continued exploratory flights make him a bird valued within the flock for his ability to lead others to new areas. During the winter of 2013, he began courting Big Sur condor 444. She was the first successful wild fledged condor in the central California flock from the nest of condors 167 and 190 in 2007. Unfortunately, 444 died due to lead poisoning, but there is no doubt 340 will find a new mate and continue his efforts to contribute more individuals to the wild California condor population.

Condor #351



Condor 351 hatched on 5/28/04 at the LA Zoo. Along with 345, he was one of the last to be released in 2005, and spends much of his time on the Big Sur coast with his mate, 418. Although their nesting attempt in 2014 failed, they have opportunity to succeed in the upcoming years.

Condor #405 spreads his wings

©Gavin Emmons


Much of 405's story remains a mystery. He hatched on 4/18/06 in Boise, Idaho, and was released in late 2007. He has been exploring the local landscape ever since. 405 has become another very dominate bird in our flock, often flushing younger condors from carcasses or roost sites. Along with 330, he has become an elusive bird, spending much of his time outside of the park. After evading recapture since 2011, 405 was finally trapped in the spring of 2014 and fitted with a GPS transmitter so that his exploratory movement can be documented.

Condor #411



Condor 411 hatched 4/26/06 at the World Center for Birds of Prey. He is a male from the 2007 cohort. Generally a more submissive bird, he spends the majority of his time inside the park. 411 has only made it to the Big Sur coast a few times, making him the "homebody" of the flock, enjoying the roosting spots over the Pinnacles campground or in the nearby hills.

Condor #418



Condor 418 hatched at the LA Zoo on 5/10/06. 418 acclimated quickly to the Pinnacles flight pen and bulked up from only 14 pounds when she arrived to a healthier weight of 20 pounds. She was released on 12/6/06. 418 enjoys spending time along the Big Sur coast and had her first attempt at nesting with 351 in 2014.

Condor #431



Condor 431 had an interesting history, even before he was released from Pinnacles in the winter of 2008. 431 is one of eight condors rescued from the Big Sur fire that eventually burned the Ventana Wildlife Society's flight pen where the condors were being held. During the fire, in late June of 2008, a Coast Guard helicopter and Ventana Wildlife Society staff shuttled the condors (including 431, 438, 448, and 451) out of the Los Padres National Forest to waiting Pinnacles staff.

Although hatched (4/12/07) at the LA Zoo, 431 originated as a wild laid egg in Big Sur. As part of an eggshell thinning study, biologists swapped out 431's egg with a dummy egg and later replaced it with a separate zoo-laid egg. 431's biological parents, 168 and 208, raised their foster chick, while 431 was raised at LAZ.

431 is now paired with Ventana Wildlife Society managed 375. They haven't successfully nested yet, but had an attempt in the spring of 2014.

Condor #438



Condor 438 was released on 12/6/08 along with 418. 438 hatched on 4/21/07 at the World Center for Birds of Prey. While in the flight pen, she stayed very close to Hoi, an older mentor bird who was kept in the pen to help instill appropriate behaviors in the young birds. Once released she stayed close to Pinnacles for only a short time and then made her way to the Big Sur coast where she has enjoyed feeding regularly on sea lions and other marine life that washes up along the coast. 438 has also found a mate in condor 199, who is managed by Ventana Wildlife Society.

Condor #448 spreads his wings



Another condor reared at The Peregrine Fund's facilities in Boise, Idaho, 448 hatched on 5/8/07. One of the more curious birds from the 2008 cohort, 448 was the first to investigate the isolation pens (used to capture condors for health checks) while he was in the facility.448 spends most of his time exploring the coast in Big Sur.

Condor #460



Released on 11/29/09, 460 is one of two females in the 2009 cohort. 460 was hatched on 3/24/09 and reared by foster parents at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, ID. She is the lightest weighing bird of the 2009 cohort, but still weighs in at a healthy 17 lbs. 460 and 463 can be seen regularly feeding alongside one another.

Condor #463

NPS/Gavin Emmons


Hatched at the World Center for Birds of Prey on 4/2/08 and reared by foster parents, 463 was released into Pinnacles on 11/24/09. 463 continues to be the most dominant bird of the 2009 cohort. He sometimes crowded and pushed the other juveniles from the "best" perches while in the flight pen. 463 also began feeding before the other birds, with the exception of the adult mentor. Within his first year in the wild he explored most of the territory regularly visited by the Pinnacles flock and still continues to be one of the more adventurous condors by exploring the far reaches of the Central California range.




Hatched on 4/27/08 and reared by foster parents, 481 is only the second Pinnacles bird to be raised at the Oregon Zoo (340 was the first in 2005). 481 started out as a bit of a loner, perching off by herself, but became more social as her time in the flight pen continued. She is a larger female weighing in at 19 lbs. She was released during a public release event on 9/26/09. She regularly flies between Pinnacles and the Big Sur and is still expanding her range.




He is the first fledgling from a nest in San Benito County in over 70 years and was raised by Ventana Wildlife Society female 303 and Pinnacles' male 313. Over the winter of 2009-2010, he slowly expanded his range from the nest, taking short flights with 313. In March, 2010 he left his natal canyon and flew further afield in San Benito County, making it to the park before April. 514 has established himself as a full member of the central California subpopulation, and frequently makes trips across the landscapes of San Benito and Monterey Counties to the Big Sur coast. He is known for having a bit of wanderlust and frequently explores new areas.


NPS/Gavin Emmons


Hatched at the Oregon Zoo on 5/4/09, 525 seems to have an independent streak and likes to perch further away from the others in this cohort. She was released into the wild on 11/22/10 and can often be seen cruising near the coast.



534 hatched on 5/18/09 at the Oregon Zoo in Portland. She brings the total number of Oregon hatched birds in the Pinnacles flock to four. (joining 340, 481, and 525), but does not have any genetic siblings in the Pinnacles' flock. She is a rather curious bird;she was the first juvenile in this group to explore several of the traps and other areas of the flight pen. She was released along with 543 on 10/12/10. She now enjoys spending her time along the beautiful Big Sur Coast with two males, 204 and 470. As she approaches breeding age, we suspect she will attempt nesting with one or both of these males.


NPS/Gavin Emmons


543 hatched from the Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey. She broke out of her shell on 5/29/09. She enjoys spending her time close to her fellow Boise hatchling 547. 543 was the first of the 2010 cohort to stretch her wings in the wide open spaces of Pinnacles on 10/12/10. 543 also enjoys spending most of her time along the Big Sur Coast.




547 is the youngest of the 2010 cohort, having hatched on 6/5/09 at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, ID. She was the lowest ranking of the juveniles in her cohort and spent most of her days perched near the adult mentor. 547 is the younger sibling of a couple of our older males, 313 and 332. She was released on 11/16/10 and now, like the rest of her cohort, enjoys spending most of her days along the Big Sur Coast.




550 was the nestling from the 2010 condor nest inside the park. Unfortunately, she had to be evacuated due to high levels of lead in her blood. Her lead levels were returned to normal while at the L.A. Zoo and she was finally able to take her first flight in the wild in autumn 2011. Since her release she has become one of the regular condors soaring over the skies of Pinnacles National Park and Big Sur.



564 hatched at the World Center for Birds of Prey on April 17, 2010. He is the younger genetic sibling of 438. 564 enjoys splitting his time between Pinnacles, San Benito and Monterey Counties, and the Big Sur Coast.



589 hatched on June 13, 2010 at the World Center for Birds of Prey. After being released in October 2011, he had a rough few days of being blown by the winds. With the guidance of slightly older juvenile birds, 589 was able to make flights out of the park. He is constantly exploring more of San Benito and Monterey Counties.

condor 602



602 is a male that hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo on 4/10/11. He is the younger sibling of female condor 481 who briefly assisted the 2013 cohort as a mentor. 602 seems to be the most dominant of his cohort and quickly integrated into the flock. Soon after being released on 1/30/13, he took a short trip out of the park and was able to make it back safely. 602 is frequently in Pinnacles National Park and is a bird who is not afraid to exert himself.

condor 606



A male with a past link to the central coast, 606 was laid by Big Sur condors 168 and 208. Due to research being conducted at the time, his egg was swapped with a zoo-laid egg and 602 was hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo on 4/22/11. After being released on 1/29/13, he made the condor biologists' job stress-free by safely perching in a tree and finding food on his first day. He has easily integrated into the flock since then, making regular flights to and from Pinnacles and Big Sur.


©Tim Huntington


Another condor hatched at the Portland Zoo, 626 joins the Pinnacles' flock. She hatched on 5/30/11 at the captive facility in Oregon. 626 is the most submissive bird of the 2013 cohort, she spent a lot of her time away from the other juveniles in the pen. Shortly after her release on 2/27/13, 626 made a flight to the High Peaks and did not feed for 3 weeks! She then returned to the bait site and quickly integrated into the flock.


Did You Know?

The Five Sisters rock formation, as seen from the Bear Gulch Reservoir

Pinnacles National Park began as a volcanic field that originated about 195 miles south of its present location. It has traveled northward along the San Andreas Fault, and currently moves at a rate of about 3 - 6 centimeters per year.