Central Coast California Condor Count= 80+ free-flying

October 15, 2015

Girl Power!

Photo of Chick #787 shortly after hatch
We documented yet another fascinating display of condor survival this nest season. Condor females 317 and 171 have been working together to raise a chick in the wild in a nest cave in an extremely remote location in Big Sur. Ca.  VWS Biologists were only able to access the nest twice due to its remoteness.  On the final nest check, they left a trail camera behind to capture the wild hatching process, an event never captured on film.  Biologists hoped this camera would capture a time lapse sequence of the chick hatching and eventual fledging from the nest cave.  

Females #171 and #317 join forces
Biologists are also curious to see how two females will raise a wild chick without a male present. They believe that the two females joined forces after the suspected male mate, #242,to one of the females died shortly after nesting began. Condors parents do most of the rearing, but they also get help from other condors in the flock.  This could be the case with this pair, one female lost her mate and another came in to assist for the greater good of the flock.  

This time lapse video captures nest activity from 4/10/2015-5/27/2015. The chick eventually grew big enough to knock over the camera.  VWS biologists believe the chick, #787 (sex unknown), has fledged and will eventually emerge to join the rest of the flock in the coming months.  

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