Wings on the Wind

Wings on the Wind

In this three-day program, students will understand the concepts of extinction and endangered species, make evaluations and record data, and analyze the ecosystems at Pinnacles to comprehend why this park was chosen as a release site for the California condor. Students learning and understanding of material will be measured through a pre-visit and post-visit assessment.

After participation in the Wings on the Wind program, it is our goal that students will have learned to:

  • Fully define the difference between the terms endangered and extinct
  • Name three animals that are endangered
  • Describe at least four distinguishing characteristics of the California condor
  • Describe what a desirable habitat is for a California condor
  • Describe a desirable nesting area for a California condor
  • List three major threats to the California condor’s survival


The pre-visit consists of a power point presentation that introduces the terms ecosystem, biodiversity, endangered, and extinct. By understanding these terms, students will appreciate the importance of the California condor in our environment. Through observing numerous photos of condors in captivity, in pre-release field pens, and in the wild, students will understand how scientists are working together to build a healthy population of condors. The presenter will also involve the students in displaying real and replica props from California condors. These props give students an opportunity to visually and tangibly experience the real characteristics of a condor.

Park Visit

When students visit Pinnacles National Monument, they will become scientists for a day. Students will make observations and conduct hands-on analysis of the resources while hiking through the park’s 4 main ecosystems: riparian, oak woodland, rocky, and chaparral.

By understanding how every organism in an ecosystem is connected, students will learn why the ecosystems at Pinnacles provide the ideal release site for the California condor.


During the post visit, the education specialist will reiterate the habitat, range, nesting site, and major threats to condors by interactive classroom activities. By educating the public, students will demonstrate what they have learned by actively making a difference in the plight of the condor’s survival.

The park’s education specialist will collaborate with the teacher on the media method their class will use to educate the public on what a condor needs to survive and the detrimental major threats in their environment.

Schedule a Wings on the Wind program for your class

Print and fill out the Program Request Form and Educational Fee Waiver Request Form, and then fax both to the park at (831)389-4489. A park educator will call you to verify your dates and give you additional information.

If you are unable to print the form or have further questions, please call us at (831)389-4486 ext 262.

Last updated: November 6, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

5000 Highway 146
Paicines, CA 95043


(831) 389-4486
To contact the Pinnacles Campground, please call (831) 389-4538.

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