California Condor Chick Hatches on Live “Condor Cam”

Fillmore, California, and Ithaca, New York –There’s a brand-new chick and added hope for recovery for the endangered California Condor. A condor chick hatched at 5:42 a.m. this past Saturday morning, May 14. Fans can follow along live as the little one grows into a huge, majestic, wind-rider. Condor Cam is back, live-streaming from Toms Canyon on Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Ventura County, California. The camera is hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Cams project and the Santa Barbara Zoo in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“By providing a virtual window into the natural world of condors, live-stream cams foster important connections between people and wildlife,” said Charles Eldermire, the Cornell Lab Bird Cams project leader. “This is an incredible opportunity to increase awareness about the fascinating lives of condors and the challenges they face in the wild.”

To watch the Condor Cam, visit: www.allaboutbirds.org/condors

This newest chick is the offspring of a 5-year-old female and her 14-year-old mate—the pair’s first nesting attempt together and the first year a camera has been placed in this cavity nest. The 2022 season looks promising in Southern California with six–possibly seven–active nests. 

“We have good reason to be optimistic about the future of the California Condor Recovery Program,” said Arianna Punzalan, supervisory wildlife biologist with the Service’s California Condor Recovery Program. “We’re excited to continue building on all the work that’s been done since the bird was placed on the Endangered Species List in 1982.”

Through intensive captive breeding and recovery efforts led by the Service in conjunction with multiple public and private partners, the California Condor population has grown from a low of 22 birds to more than 500 birds worldwide. More than half of the population is now living in the wild.

The number one killer of California Condors is lead poisoning, ingested when condors feed on carcasses containing lead bullet fragments. Another threat specific to condor chicks is “micro trash.” Condor parents feed small coin-sized trash items such as nuts, bolts, and bottle caps, which they may be mistaking for pieces of bone and shell which provide a source of calcium for the chick.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the nest cam, the parents, and the chick, visit: https://www.fws.gov/cno/es/CalCondor/CondorCam.html

“Condors fought their way back from dangerously low numbers just a few decades ago,” said Estelle Sandhaus, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Director of Conservation and Science. “These are truly magnificent birds, and it’s exciting to be able to share this remarkable experience with the world through the Condor Cam.”
 

The Condor Cam is made possible through access provided by private landowners, and through the financial and technical support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Santa Barbara ZooCornell Lab of Ornithology, the Western Foundation of Vertebrate ZoologyDisney Worldwide Conservation Fund, and Friends of California Condors Wild and Free

 

Editors: Download video and images. Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.