10 Fascinating California Condor Facts You Should Know
Learn how the California condor came back from the brink of extinction. Plus, learn where these large birds live and where they nest.
The California condor is a special species, but some extra help is needed to keep the birds from going extinct. Learn fascinating facts about these tough fliers.
California Condors Are Endangered
Because of threats to them that included habitat loss, power-line collisions and lead poisoning, California condors were first listed as endangered in 1967.
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Wild Condors Were Brought into Captivity
Sadly, only 27 California condors remained in the wild by the mid-1980s. As a drastic measure to save the species and prevent the birds from going extinct, they were all captured and brought into captive-breeding programs at that time.
California Condors Are Making a Comeback
There is some good news, though, about the future of these birds! Though they’re still critically endangered, about 500 California condors are around now.
Even better: Many of them are flying out in the wild once again, while others remain in captive-breeding programs.
Find California Condors Out West
After the important conservation efforts, California condors were reintroduced to the wild in 1992 in three different locations: California, Arizona and Baja, Mexico. Today, you can see these birds in New Mexico, Utah and Nevada.
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California Condors Are Scavengers
These resourceful birds are capable of surviving for several days without eating, but when they do, they might ingest more than 3 pounds of carrion (the flesh of dead animals).
They Can Travel Long Distances
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Quite the impressive soarers, California condors may log more than 200 miles per day in the air.
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California Condors Are Quite Large
With a wingspan of more than 9 feet (and weighing around 20 pounds), the California condor is the largest wild bird in North America.
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Condors Can Live for Decades
California condors aren’t just resourceful—they’re also known to live a long time! Some can even live up to 60 years in the wild.
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California Condor Chicks Are Special
California condors lay only one egg at a time. The egg then takes 57 days to hatch. Both parents incubate the egg and raise the chick. Young California condors also stick with their parents for quite a long time, requiring parental care for around a year.
These Birds Nest Up High
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California condors aren’t afraid of heights. They nest in natural cavities in cliffs up to 6,000 feet in elevation.
Next, check out these amazing facts about bald eagles.