GET TO KNOW A PREY-GO-NEESH: Up Close And Personal With Your New Condor Neighbors | Lost Coast Outpost

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Of course, your heart has been warmed by the historic outings of four California condors in our area over the past two months. But what do you know about the individual personality of these birds?

If you just realize that you’re unfortunately not prepared to tell your new feathered friends apart from each other, fear not. Rebecca Fabbri of the US Fish and Wildlife Service ranks the following helpful Prey-go-neesh profiles so you can better grasp the temperaments of the specific majestic creatures hovering overhead:



For the first time in over a century, endangered Prey-go-neesh (California condors) can now be seen flying above the redwoods of Northern California.

On May 3, 2022, the Yurok Tribe successfully released the first pair of condors, out of a group of four, into Redwood National and State Parks, establishing the northernmost condor release area yet and recovering a significant portion of their former historic range. , from which they have been absent since 1892.

“This journey to restoration began in 2003, when a panel of Yurok elders decided that Prey-go-neesh was the highest priority land animal to return to Yurok ancestral territory due to the Yurok’s deep cultural connection. with the birds.” said the director of Yurok’s wildlife department Tiana Williams Claussen.

The reintroduction effort builds on more than a decade of planning and preparation initiated by the Yurok Tribe with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, state, and other partners.

“For countless generations, the Yurok people have borne the sacred responsibility of maintaining balance in the natural world,” said Joseph L. James, the chairman of the Yurok tribe, in the days leading up to his release. “The reintroduction of Condor is a concrete manifestation of our cultural commitment to restoring and protecting the planet for future generations. This is a historic moment in the Yurok tribe, as we bring our condors home, giving us that balance. Our prayers are answered.

The four condors, including one female and three males, are between two and four years old, an ideal age range when they would leave their parents in the wild. Although it will be several years before these birds are old enough to breed in the wild, we believe we have a successful model for future reintroduction efforts in the North. Learn a bit more about each condor below.

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Poy’-we-son


Poy’-we-son was the first California condor to take flight in the wild. Photo courtesy of Matt Mais/Yurok Tribe

Hatched: Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey

Wing label: A3

Age: 2 year old male

About me: First in the paddock we have Poy’-we-son, who literally translates to “one who goes ahead”, but also refers to the traditional name of a village chief, who helps lead and guide the village in the right direction.

“A3 is one of the most dominant birds, and I expect him to be a leader among this flock and for new birds coming in,” Williams-Claussen said.

True to his name, Poy’-we-son was adventurous from the start, boldly exploring the area surrounding the Liberation Facility for two weeks before returning to the Liberation Pens. His stay will have endowed him with valuable knowledge that he will share with his fellow cohorts as the little herd expands across the landscape.

Herdbook number: 1045

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Nes-kwe-chokw’


Nes-kwe-chokw’ perches outside the flying enclosure. Photo courtesy of Patrick Myers/Yurok Tribe

Hatched: Oregon Zoo

Wing label: A2

Age: 2 and a half year old male

About me: “Nes-kwe-chokw”, which translates as “He returns” or “He arrives”, is a representative of the historical moment that we have just experienced and the return of the condors, in free flight, in the Yurok and the landscape surrounding. said Williams-Claussen. “He’s a confident bird, often jockeying with A3 in play, but also to help establish his place in the pecking order and with the will to do well in the wild.”

Also true to his nickname, Nes-kwe-chokw’ first attached himself more closely to ‘home’, the release pen, apparently awaiting the release of the rest of his herd. Although he grew more and more comfortable as he moved away from the release facility, he was largely satisfied staying near the facility, visiting the birds that remained in captivity and enjoying pleasantly food offered by biologists to keep distant birds interested in the facility, which will be used for ongoing management.

Herdbook number: 1010

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Ney-gem’ ‘Ne-chweenkah


Ney-gem’ ‘Ne-chweenkah’ takes in its new home. Photo courtesy of Patrick Myers/Yurok Tribe

Hatched: Oregon Zoo

Wing label: A0

Age: 3 year old female

About me: Ney-gem’ ‘Ne-chweenkah’ which translates to “She carries our prayers” is the only female of the first cohort released. “She represents the life force creative energy that women bring to the world,” Williams-Claussen said. “It’s powerful. I envision this as the start of a whole new life and possibility, both for our herd and for the condors throughout their range. We also imbue this name with our prayers for her in particular, her cohort brothers and for all condors. She wears them everywhere she goes. We are incredibly grateful that Prey-go-neesh has come home to bring our beliefs, our energy and our prayers as we ask for the world to be in balance, as an essential part of the ecological community.

Although she struggled a bit with the mechanics of free flight in her early forays, such as her first time spreading her wings in the wild, she’ll soon figure it out and fit in well with both Poy’ -we-son (A3) and Nes-kwe-chokw’ (A2). All three comfortably share resources and will continue to learn from and teach each other.

Herdbook number: 969

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Hlow Hoo-let


Hlow Hoo-let was the latest to join the cohort with his friends, who together will take flight towards the recovery of a population of California condors in the Pacific Northwest. Photo courtesy of Yurok Tribe

Hatched: Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey

Wing label: A1

Age: 3 year old male

About me: “A1 was nicknamed ‘Hlow Hoo-let’, which means ‘Finally I (or we) are flying!’ Consistent with the heavier names this first cohort bears,” Williams-Claussen said. “I interpret this as a reference to the joyous day when the four members of our first cohort fly freely together.

On a lighter note, this is certainly also a reference to poor A1’s prolonged wait to be released, due to his faulty transmitter! We welcome Hlow Hoo-let to the skies of Yurok and the surrounding lands, and look forward to his journey with us.

On July 14, 2022, he was the last to join the cohort with his friends, who together will take flight towards the recovery of a population of California condors in the Pacific Northwest.

Herdbook number: 973

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Paaytoqin (mentor bird)


Paaytoqin was chosen as the mentor bird due to its calm nature and good disposition. Photo courtesy of Matt Mais/Yurok Tribe

Hatched: Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey

Age: 8 year old boy

About me: “His name Paaytoqin (pie-toe-quin) means ‘return’ in the Nez Perce language because he returned to the World Center Birds of Prey, one of the recovery program’s captive breeding facilities, after being at the Oregon Zoo for three years,” said. Lea Esquivel of the Peregrine Fund.

Hatched in 2014, it was selected for captivity based on genetics and is not releasable.

“We do not release captive adults who have never had a wilderness experience,” said Steve Kirkland, California condor field coordinator for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. “He could be paired with a mate in the future, if needed; however, for now, his role as a mentor will have an important influence on the young pigeons.

Paaytoqin was chosen as the mentor bird due to its calm nature and good disposition. Before arriving at the Northern California Condor Reintroduction Program Facility, he was found to have a constant and central influence on young birds, helping them acclimate to their new region and develop critical social behavior prior to release. He regularly charges turkey vultures outside the feeding enclosure, showing the stature of the condors in feeding order.

“He will eventually return to captivity to help contribute to the health and vitality of the entire herd in the captive breeding program after his time in Northern California,” Williams-Claussen said.

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Poy’-we-son and Nes-kwe-chokw’ were spotted exploring their new home. Photo courtesy of Northern California Condor Restoration Program | Picture details

Comprised of biologists and technicians from the Yurok Tribe and Redwood State Park, the Northern California Condor Restoration Program will collaboratively manage this herd from a new condor release and management facility in the north of California, near the Klamath River in Redwoods National and State Park.

“The return of the condors to the skies above the redwoods represents a significant step in restoring this magnificent forest to its former glory,” remarked the Superintendent of Redwood National and State Park. Steve Mietz. “This project is a model for listening to and following the example of the early park stewards, healing both our relationship with the land and its original inhabitants.”

With the release of these birds, the Northern California Condor Restoration Program team officially joins the larger California Condor Recovery Program run by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Recovery efforts include three additional release sites in California, one in Arizona and one in Baja Mexico. Each release site is defended by a partner in condor recovery.

“The reintroduction of condors to Northern California is truly a monumental moment,” said Paul Souza, Regional Director of the Pacific Southwest Region of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. “This effort builds on the program’s collective knowledge and condor release history and has the benefit of partnering with tribes and others to implement listed species recovery. We are proud to support this collaborative and innovative partnership with the Yurok Tribe and Redwood National Park.Together, we can restore listed species for future generations.

“PREY-GO-NEESH KEECH KE-ME’-YEHL – THE CONDORS HAVE GONE HOME.”The Yurok Tribe

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