Central Coast California Condor Count= 80+ free-flying

December 09, 2016

First Flights!

Condor Chick 842 shortly after fledging

The five pre-release Condors that have been waiting release in San Simeon are finally flying free! Read the news headlines HERE. Held up by fires over the summer, the five birds were eager to stretch their wings and start exploring their new home. The cohort is made up of four females  (Condors 678,726,747, and 760) and one male ( Condor 758). All the birds are doing well and enjoying their newfound freedom. To find out more about each bird, you can read their bios on mycondor.org 

First-time parenting trio Condors 204, 470, and 534 have successfully fledged their first chick! The chick ( Condor 842) is now taking short flights in its natal canyon in Big Sur, and biologists hope to see it flying along the coast with its parents soon. Because the trio used a redwood nest that was unsafe for biologists to climb, Condor 842 is untagged for the time being. After the chick learns to fly and makes it the VWS release site, VWS Biologists will capture the chick to determine gender and give it a radio transmitter so it can be tracked. Good job Condors 204, 460, and 534 and welcome to the flock Condor 842!!! 

RIP Condor Chick 838
Unfortunately, we have some sad news to report. Chick 838 died last week from injuries inflicted by a natural predator and has been sent off to USFWS Pathology Lab to confirm the cause of death.  Condor 838 was the chick of Condor pair 351 and 418 and recently fledged from the cavity of a redwood tree. The incident took place away from the nest while the parents were out foraging. The first weeks of life away from the nest are the most challenging for a young condor and predators are a very real threat. 838 will be missed.

On an up note, 2016 is shaping up to be another great year for the flock, we still have three wild-born chicks (Condor 842 on the coast, Condor 828 at Pinnacles, and 835 just inland) surviving in the wild in central California and overall mortality for the wild population has been low this year.  We are anxiously awaiting the 2017 nest season to begin and hope to see our first wild eggs laid as early as February! Stay tuned...

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