Posted by: atowhee | April 13, 2022


Yuroks and the National Park Service prepare for condor release in Nor Cal. Click here for more.

If the transplanted condors do well and survive it is a short soar to southern Oregon. Back in the 19th Century condors were regular summer visitors to Oregon as far north as the Columbia where Lewis & Clark shot at them. They killed one near Fort Clatsop (Astoria vicinity before there was an Astoria), and wounded another that was taken alive. Lewis in 1806 wrote that the condor mist be the biggest bird in North America, one specimen they killed had a 9 and half foot wing-span. He proved to be right. These experiences were outside the condor breeding season and all along the Columbia west of the Cascades.

There is no reliable evidence they ever bred up here. Like Brown Pelicans they came north for the fine local cuisine.

At one time (1985) there were only 22 California Condors left on Earth. Now the population is over 500, with 337 in the wild. In 1987 all living condors were brought into captivity. 1992 saw the first release back into the wild. 2002 the first wild breeding resumed. There are free birds now in southern California, Arizona/Utah and Baja. The biggest threats to the population now is lead shot in carcasses and bright plastic trash they can swallow. West Nile virus, likely spread here due to climate change, could be a danger. Many of the birds have been vaccinated–don’t tell the anti-vaxxers.

Click for condor stats website.

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