May 6, 2015
We finally finished
releases for the year when 700 took his first flight in the wild on April
1st. All of the "rookies" are acclimating well and have integrated
with the free flying flock. Many of them have already made forays outside of
the park, including to Big Sur, while others have been putting on impressive
"shows" for visitors in the High Peaks. We are excited to have this
batch of young birds added to the flock.
With releases completed, we turn our full attention to the wild nests. Eight nests have been identified in central California, seven of which involve at least one Pinnacles bird. The nest in the park (female 236 and male 340), continues to progress and we are happy to announce condor 782 hatched on April 17th! We are now up to 5 chicks and waiting eagerly for the last few to hatch. We will continue to monitor these nests until the nestlings fledge in the fall.
Additionally, we have officially opened our traps for the spring trapping cycle. Each condor captured will have a full health check, including blood lead test, and have new transmitters placed if necessary. This is a very busy time for our crew, so we are happy to welcome a new intern to our crew. Richie joined us this week and will be helping us with all of our trapping, tracking, and nest monitoring activities. Sadly, this means that one of our current fabulous interns, Rose, will be moving on. She has been an excellent addition to our team for the last year and a half and we are excited for her to start her next adventure.
March 23, 2015
This is a very exciting time of year for the Condor Program. We are releasing new condors into the wild and mated pairs are starting to nest!
So far, we've released five juveniles and intend to release the final two in the coming weeks. All of the newly released birds have been following a pattern we like to see, finding food, roosting in pine trees at night, and starting to explore their new home area. Several of them have even made exploratory flights outside of the park!
We are also excited to announce that a pair of condors is nesting in the park this year. The male, 340, has nested in the park before, but he has a new mate, 236, since his previous mate died of lead poisoning last year. They are nesting in a cliff cave that is impossible to see into. Due to the remoteness of the nest and a lack of viewing sites, we are not going to disclose the location to the staff or the public, for the safety of the birds and the public. However, with a nesting territory inside the park, there will be lots of great opportunities for viewing the parents when they are taking their turn away from the nest.
The nest in the park is one of three confirmed nests in central California so far this season. There could be up to eight nests this year, so we will keep you posted on how they progress.
As always, please report any condor sightings to e-mail us. Thanks!