SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4) – Biologists celebrate the successful landing of a California Condor nestled in Zion National Park.
The young bird left the cave of its nest at Angels Landing and landed successfully, making it the second wild fledgling to successfully fly to Zion National Park, officials said.
Zion Park biologists named this condor “1111”. Her brother, “# 1000”, was the first wild baby bird to fly to Zion National Park in 2019.
Condor # 1111 is only four and a half months old, so park rangers and volunteers are keeping a close eye on the young bird who is still dependent on its parents to this day.
Flight is described as a process by which young birds acquire the feathers necessary for flight, and then officially travel outside their nest, according to Merriam-Webster. Experts say most condors take their first flight around six months of age and will continue to depend on their parents for the next 12 to 14 months.
Most condors spend a lot of time caring for their young, so each pair of condors will produce about one egg every two years, experts say. Biologists believe the condor egg was laid in February and hatched in mid-April.
Condor’s mother # 1111, # 409, was born at the San Diego Zoo in 2006 and his father, # 523, was born at the Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho in 2009. Parents have been together for four years. years and were released at the site of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona.
“We are delighted to see the continued success of this pair of condors in Zion National Park,” said Tim Hauck, Condor Program Manager for The Peregrine Fund. “This is definitely an occasion to celebrate the recovery effort, once again demonstrating the resilience of the California condor. What a spectacular site, to see wild condors soar among the towering rock formations of Zion National Park. ”
By 1982, the California Condors were on the verge of extinction, with only 22 left in the world at the time. Due to the sharp decline, the remaining condors were captured and held in captivity to ensure the survival of the species.
The successful captive breeding program has now dramatically restored the number of condors, with more than 500 today, experts say.
Successful numbers have allowed condors to be released into the wild since 1992.
Today, more than half of those 500 condors fly free in the wild, with 103 condors currently soaring in the skies of Utah and Arizona.
“We’re incredibly excited to see a second baby bird at Zion National Park,” said Russ Norvell, Bird Conservation Program Coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. “The recovery of this endangered species requires many strong partnerships and hard work on the part of so many people, and we are delighted to see some of these efforts bear fruit. We look forward to the continued recovery of these unique birds. “
Learn more about the California Condor Recovery Program here.