Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal

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BT
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2006/03/30 02:14:36 (permalink)

Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal



This is a picture of a California Condor nesting in a redwood tree in Big Sur. It is the first time such a thing is known to have happened since 1905. The nesting birds were born in captivity and released to the wild in 1997 (the male) and 1999 (the female). There are now 271 condors in the wild, 57 of them in Arizona and the rest (except for these 2) in Central and Southern CA. Several decades ago, all the wild birds were captured in order to protect and breed them, their chicks gradually being reintroduced to the wild (each pair produces only one egg per breeding season). Mature condors are the largest known birds and have a 10-ft wingspan.
#1

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    Fieldthistle
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/30 08:07:31 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    BT, thanks for the pic and the info. It is always a joy to hear good news.
    Wonderful to see how we, humans, can not only build, but help restore.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #2
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/30 08:41:05 (permalink)
    To me it is great to see the beginning of the recovery of the Condor.

    I am fortunate to live on the Tennessee River in Knoxville and we have begun to see the recovery of the Ospry which now nest all around my residence and in addition, the Bald Eagle is now nesting on the Fort Loudon embayment of the Tennesse River. The Bald Eagle is not as numerous as the Osprey but they are here.

    I see the Osprey almost daily and in fact, they rest in my sycamore tree next to my dock.

    Thanks for the great pic.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #3
    mayor al
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/30 08:45:53 (permalink)
    On a roadtrip on RT 1 just south of Big Sur in August of 1999 I snapped these shots of a Condor floating on the updrafts over the surf and cliffs at a turnout of that beautiful road. I could almost read the tag number on the bird as he/she floated gently back and forth over the area. What a spectacular thing to see in the wild.
    (35mm print scanned for digital presentation)




    #4
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/30 09:48:44 (permalink)
    Al, I have about 600 birds on my list. I have birded in all 50 states and I have never observed the Condor.

    I traveled all day to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas just to see the whooping crane. After searching for about six hours, I finally saw three about a mile away. I was fortunate that a fellow birder had a spotting scope.

    http://www.rockport-fulton.org/frames/anwr.htm

    Since then I have seen only one and that was a a migratory single at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge close to Decatur, TN. I have also observed better than 20,000 Sandhill cranes there, bald eagle, golden eagle and may other species.

    http://www.meigscountytnchamber.org/hiwasseerefuge.htm

    You are very fortunate to see one on the fly.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #5
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/30 09:59:24 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    Sundancer, it is a wonderful time of year here. The birds are migrating.
    Often, in the fall or spring, we get cranes here at my pond or the creek
    behind it. Not sure if they are whooping cranes, but are a crane. My
    mother and I take them as good omens. All kinds of ducks and geese come
    here as well. It always makes my day when I see something new, but also
    good to see the familiar birds visit my back deck for the food I scatter
    out for them.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #6
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/30 10:12:57 (permalink)
    Fieldthistle: Spring is also wonderful in East TN. Daily, I see migrating waterfowl, warblers and other birds.

    I watch the Tennessee River from my deck. This year already I have seen huge rafts of Buffle Heads, mergansers, the usual mallards and the ubiquitous Canada geese, wood ducks and a huge amount of wardblers that are traveling though. The warblers are difficult for me to identify because they are so small and rarely stay still.

    There is a island just a half mile downstream from me and it has a huge rookery of great blue herons that build huge nest in the top of the trees. They are strange pterodoctyle appearing birds that seem to fish 24- while they are nesting and trying to feed mamma and babies.

    Spring is super!

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #7
    mr chips
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/30 11:27:57 (permalink)
    BT, this is great news. Loved the pic. I envy you the sighting, Mr. Mayor.
    #8
    mr chips
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/31 08:44:02 (permalink)
    Just wanted to add that the Oregon Zoo here in Portland is part of the breeding program for the California Condor.
    #9
    mayor al
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/31 09:11:52 (permalink)

    EDITED FOR MORE DETAILS

    In prep for our Lake Powell and North Rim roadtrip in a few weeks I have been reading up on the area in several "Off the Beaten Path..." type of guidebooks. In the MOON HANDBOOK for the FOUR CORNERS (p.207) they make reference to the release of CA Condors in the Grand Canyon area of Northern Arizona. By 2004 35 Birds had been released.Apparently they have suffered a high rate of mortality with the released birds (14 of the 35 have died) but the program is progressing slowly. The hope is to have three groups of 150 birds in a group, in the area by the end of the project. We will be watching the skys when in that area to see if we will be lucky enough to see one.

    Mr Chips- Are they releasing the Oregon Birds into the wild in Coastal Oregon? Or do they transport them east to the drier areas? They are certainly an interesting bird to watch, and to follow the history also.
    #10
    mr chips
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/31 10:59:27 (permalink)
    The breeding program has just started(maybe a year). I believe they will be released to the dryer areas. Oregon was, however, part of the condor's historical range. Lewis and Clark reported seeing them and there are a number of Native American petroglyphs featuring condors.
    #11
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/31 11:08:05 (permalink)
    Chips: Have they released them in the Hells Canyon area?

    I drove through the area a few years ago and I thought about that then. Very interesting area but not easily accessable.

    I ended up overnighting in the Lewiston, Idaho area.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #12
    mr chips
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/31 12:19:24 (permalink)
    I just checked the zoo website. Right now all the Condors are being released in Arizona and California. There are no plans to release them anywhere in Oregon. Sigh!
    #13
    mr chips
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/31 12:22:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    Al, I have about 600 birds on my list. I have birded in all 50 states and I have never observed the Condor.

    I traveled all day to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas just to see the whooping crane. After searching for about six hours, I finally saw three about a mile away. I was fortunate that a fellow birder had a spotting scope.

    http://www.rockport-fulton.org/frames/anwr.htm

    Since then I have seen only one and that was a a migratory single at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge close to Decatur, TN. I have also observed better than 20,000 Sandhill cranes there, bald eagle, golden eagle and may other species.

    http://www.meigscountytnchamber.org/hiwasseerefuge.htm

    You are very fortunate to see one on the fly.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    I'm not much of a birder but I have had the fortune to see the Roseate Spoonbill in the Everglades and the Nene(Hawaiian goose) in Haleakala National Park in Hawaii. Did you ever see these birds?
    #14
    tmiles
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/31 12:25:03 (permalink)
    This only happened because half a lifetime ago, some far sighted people realized that something had to be done to save these birds. It has costed a fortune, and today most American's would consider the money as having been well spent. It wasn't always the case.

    Glenn Beck has the theory that if you are kidnapped, your case will get more publicity if you are good looking. Maybe the same theory could apply to these giant birds. Would we have these birds today, and would anybody care, if they had looked like a starling?
    #15
    mayor al
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/31 12:41:05 (permalink)

    I am sure that many species have disappeared unnoticed over the years. I seem to recall some attention on this site about the spotting of a very rare specie of Woodpecker a year or so ago.

    At times, in my mind, it seems hard to balance "progress" with the need to preserve these creatures. I think you're correct though in saying that the attention towards preservation increases with the appearance of the subject to be preserved. The Desert Tortoise gets a lot of attention, while people gripe at the environmental studies that stop the housing projects because of a sub-specie of the desert Kangaroo Rat that might be displaced. The pressure upon these decisions will only increase as the planet fills up.
    #16
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/31 13:34:19 (permalink)
    That would be the Ivory Bill woodpecker that supposingly found in Arkansas. They have been quiet about that for a while. I do not know if it was a hoax or not. It seemed authenic at the time but it got very quiet.

    If true, that species had not been seen for way better than 50 years.

    http://www.birds.cornell.edu/ivory/

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #17
    tmiles
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/31 14:59:11 (permalink)
    I don't know for sure, but I suspect that it is out of the news, because there has been no new "news". Professional birders were very concerned about all of the Ivory Bill tourism, and I expect that if a scientist were to get a good picture of an Ivory Bill today, he may limit the release of information to a very short list of birders that he/she could trust to stay quiet.

    Scientists are of mixed opinions as to how many organisms it takes to have a breeding population. It is not like Noah's ark when a population can be rebuilt from a single pair. In birds, people who know far more than me have mentioned 25 or 30 pairs, but I understand that the condor population was rebuilt from a smaller number of actual breeders. In my own sheep flock of 20 to 25, I had problems when I ran it as a closed flock for just 3 generations.

    If the Ivory Bill has survived on the edge of extinction for half a century, the breeding population has to very small. The loss of a single nest could wreck everything. Just one guy like 19th century photographer, A. R. Dugmore, author of the classic book, "Nature and the Camera" could be the doom of this woodpecker,if indeed any still exist. JMO
    #18
    mayor al
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/03/31 17:53:00 (permalink)
    Tmiles-
    A lot of similiarity between the Bird and The sterotypical Roadfood Establishment, isn't there? Popularity breeds extinction.
    #19
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Great news! Condors nesting in NoCal 2006/04/01 07:00:12 (permalink)
    Mr Chips: I have seen the roseated spoonbill many times. I observed numerous ones in the Ding Darling National Wildlife refuge in florida although they are numerous in most tropical areas that are coastal.

    http://www.fws.gov/dingdarling/

    I have seen the nene goose on Oahu on a refuge on the northeast part if the island.

    http://www.aloha-hawaii.com/hawaii/nene/

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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