It’s springtime at Grand Canyon National Park, and warming temperatures have resulted in the usual spike in visitation. These visitors to the South Rim can once again be seen hanging out on cliffs, grooming each other, and soaring for hours on the afternoon’s rising air currents. No, I’m not referring to the legions of spring breakers, but rather the endangered California condors (though the two species do share a few habits on occasion).
A number of federal agencies and non-profit organizations such as the Peregrine Fund can be credited with bringing the condors back from the brink of worldwide extinction in the 1980s. The majestic birds were reintroduced to northern Arizona in 1996 after an absence dating back to the 20s. Today Arizona’s condors split time between the warmer lowlands of the Arizona/Utah border, and the Grand Canyon itself.
On March 3rd, seven additional condors were released north of the canyon, bringing the total population in the Grand Canyon State to fifty-nine individuals. Dozens of the birds can be spotted daily in the vicinity of Grand Canyon Village, providing no shortage of entertainment for park patrons of all ages.