Hello Condor Enthusiasts—
Once again, most of the information in this document comes from The Peregrine Fund’s “Condor Cliffs” Facebook page at www.facebook.com/condorcliffs. As usual, highlights are in bold.
We have a third confirmed chick! But the nest of female 296/tag -6 and male 266/tag 66 in the Vermilion Cliffs failed since my last update. Our three 2012 chicks are:
- #659: Offspring of experienced breeders 126F/26 and 114/tagless in a new cave in the
- Vermilion Cliffs. Hatch date: c. 4/4/12.
- #660: Offspring of female 133/tag 33 and male 187/tag 87 in a west-facing cave in the Redwall limestone below Grand Canyon Village. This chick is sometimes visible through a spotting scope from Indian Garden Campground or from Powell Point on the Hermit Road.
- #674: Offspring of female 210/tag 10 and 287M/-7. 674 is being raised in the same Tapeats
Creek area cave that 210F & 134M (who later disappeared) used successfully in 2007. Peregrine Fund biologist Shaun Putz braved the heat of the inner canyon to spot this chick on July 17.
The Arizona/Utah condor population suffered two fatalities in June (suspected coyote predation & lead poisoning), plus the permanent removal to captivity of a recently released 2-year-old. And the second of last year’s two chicks was tagged.
- Male 571/tag K1: As reported on Condor Cliffs June 3, this “two-year-old released for the first time this spring, has been permanently removed from our wild population and will be held in captivity at a zoo facility. He showed consistent behavior that made him unfit for survival in the wild, and instead of waiting for his almost certain demise, we made the decision to remove him from the population.”
- Male 552/tag K2: Coyote-scavenged carcass of this 2-year-old bird released February 24 was found on June 17.
- 7-year-old female 381/tag C1: Chris Parish of The Peregrine Fund reports
Condor Cliffs displays the x-ray image showing the pistol bullet. As posted by The Peregrine Fund biologists, this is likely “not a hunting issue or season—animals are dispatched or put-down all of the time, and this is probably one of those cases.”
- #634, last year’s Battleship chick, now wears tag L4. Posted on Condor Cliffs on June 26:
A brief video of 634 being re-released was also posted on Condor Cliffs on June 26.
On the South Rim, Condor Talks are offered daily this summer at 5:00 pm at Lookout Studio. On the North Rim, the Condor Talk takes place daily on the terrace of the Grand Canyon Lodge at 4:30 pm.
On the South Rim, condors are being seen frequently, as is usually the case in July.
Updated Condor Chart
I’ve updated the chart of California Condors in AZ/UT by Tag # as of July 26, 2012, and included here in the sidebar for downloading.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly the San Diego Wild Animal Park) still has a webcam on one of their condor chicks, which hatched on March 10, 2012. Check it out at:
http://www.sandiegozooglobal.org/video/condor_cam. When it fledges and is no longer visible, you can read about that too on their blog.
Good luck spotting some condors!
Also here’s news from www.facebook.com/condorcliffs:
Some recent updates in our population- condor 571, a two-year-old released for the first time this Spring, has been permanently removed from our wild population and will be held in captivity at a zoo facility. He showed consistent behavior that made him unfit for survival in the wild, and instead of waiting for his almost certain demise, we made the decision to remove him from the population. On… another low note—the nesting pair of 296F and 266M has abandoned the nest cave that they have been tending to all season, resulting in a certain failed nesting attempt. After some safety recon for attempting a nest cave entry to investigate the cause of failure, Field Manager Eddie Feltes deemed the rappel unsafe, and was not able to enter the nest, so the cause of abandonment will remain unknown. The removal of 571, and the two current chicks in nests, puts our current wild population at 78 condors. Keep your fingers crossed for 210 and 287 to produce their first chick together…
I’ve removed K1 (#571, a 2-year-old male from Portland, released 3/21/12) from the chart. That leaves us 76 free-flying condors in Arizona/Utah, plus 2 confirmed chicks, plus the one suspected egg or chick in the western part of the Canyon.
The Condor Chart (PDF) reflects these updated numbers.
June 4, 2012