Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Return from Back of Beyond: California Condor on the Colorado River
In terms of bird sightings, the trip was a mixed bag. We certainly saw a large number of birds, but there was little time for careful observation. I will be posting some of them in coming days. But we did have some interesting surprises at times. The best is what we saw at Navajo Bridge over the Colorado River in Arizona upstream of the Grand Canyon. It was a pair of California Condors.
As modern civilization encroached on their remaining territory (and left lead buckshot in the carcasses of deer), the Condors lost ground and lost population. By the late 1980s there were fewer than 30 of them left in the wild, and the decision was made to capture them all and begin a program of captive breeding. It has been a great (and unfortunately rare) success story, as there are now 410 living birds, and more than half of them have been released into the wild.