There has been another baby California Condor cited nestling into Zion National Park and local biologists are very excited. This young condor recently left its nest cave in Angels Landing and has successfully landed making this the second wild hatch fledgling condor to successfully fledge in Zion National Park.
Another Baby Condor Calls Zion Park Home
This new baby condor has been named number 1111 and is a sibling to number 1000, who was the first wild hatch nestling to fledge in Zion National Park two years ago in 2019. This baby condor is just 4 and a half months old and still dependent on its parents currently. It is being well watched by Park Rangers and volunteers to ensure its safety and success in life.
Fledging is a process where a young bird acquires the necessary feathers to be able to fly and be able to leave the nest permanently. Those who study condors say most take their first flight when they are about six months old and continue to strengthen their flight skills depending upon parental engagement for the next 12 to 14 months. Most often condor parents will spend a lot of time caring for the baby condor, so each set of condor parents will produce just one egg every other year. This allows them to focus their attention on just one baby. Biologists say that this baby condor’s egg was laid sometime in February and hatched in April 2021.
This baby condor, number 1111, has a mother that was born at the San Diego Zoo. She is California Condor number 409 born in 2006. The baby condor’s father was born at the Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise Idaho in 2009. He is condor number 523. This condor couple has been together for four years and was released at the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument site in Arizona.
Local experts are thrilled to see that the condor couple has had continued success as a pair and that they have come to Zion National Park to breed. Tim Hoch of the condor program at the Peregrine Fund believes it is an occasion for celebration in the ongoing recovery effort of California Condors demonstrating that the California Condor is resilient. It is a very big and successful step in the California Condor species gaining strength in numbers and continuing existence.
In the not-so-distant past, in the year 1982, the California Condor was on the brink of extinction. You may be surprised to find out there were only 22 California Condors left in the entire world at that time. Because of this steep decline in numbers these 22 remaining condors were captured and held captive to ensure the species survived. This program was successful as it began a captive breeding program that has now brought back condors to a number of over 500 in existence currently.
The success of the captive breeding program has allowed for the release of California Condors back into the wild which began in 1992. Right now about half of the 500 condors in existence are living free in the wild. There are currently 103 condors living over the skies of Utah and Arizona.
Zion National Park certainly is a treasure and for those who live in Saint George and surrounding areas, we get to enjoy this park in our backyard. For more on living in Washington County and Saint George including Saint George area real estate please contact me anytime.