Thursday, November 6, 2008

The California Condor

The California Condor has made a comeback, thanks to the United States' largest species conservation effort of all time. The California Condor is among the rarest bird species in the world, with only 332 birds known to exist, and of that number only 152 survive in the wild. They live in the Grand Canyon, along the coastal mountains of southern California, and into northern Baja.

First described by English naturalist George Shaw in 1797, the California Condor is a black vulture with the largest wingspan of any bird. It is also the heaviest. It has a bald head and neck that are capable of changing colors, depending on the mood of the bird. This is thought to be a means of communiation with other condors. The strength and size of their wings allows them to flap their wings a single time to glide for miles.

The photograph above was taken at the San Diego Wild Animal Park by Chuck Szmurlo. The photograph below shows a condor chick being fed by a condor puppet.

1 comment:

Yadira said...

Thank you for this insightful summary on what has been happening with the California condor. In the late 1980s the number of California condors dropped to a low of 22 birds. The increase to more than 330 birds is a true miracle story. Thank you for sharing.