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Observation confirms year’s third wild-hatched California Condor chick in Arizona-Utah population

GRAND CANYON, Ariz.  – A Peregrine Fund biologist has provided visual confirmation that a wild-hatched California Condor chick is present in a nest cave deep in Grand Canyon National Park. That brings to three the number of wild condor chicks produced by the Arizona-Utah flock this season.

“Based on our crew’s observations, we suspected a chick had hatched sometime in early May,” said Chris Parish, head of condor field operations for The Peregrine Fund. “We didn’t want to make it official, however, until we had visual confirmation of the chick with our own eyes.”

After several attempts, veteran field crew member Shaun Putz saw the young bird in Tapeats Canyon on July 17. Previously, two chicks – one in the Grand Canyon and one at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument -- had been observed and confirmed in May.

There are now 77 condors in the wild in Arizona and Utah, including the new chicks. A total of 18 chicks have hatched in the wild since condors were first introduced in Arizona in 1996.

The new chicks are expected to take their first flights from the nest in late fall. Young condors are dependent on their parents for approximately 18 months.

The recovery effort is a cooperative program by federal, state, and private partners, including The Peregrine Fund, Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Strip Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, Grand Canyon and Zion national parks, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and Kaibab and Dixie national forests.

Did you know?

  • Prior to reintroduction, the last wild condor in Arizona was sighted just south of the Grand Canyon in 1924.
  • Condors reach maturity at about six years of age. They usually produce one egg every other year.
  • The condor is the largest land bird in North America. The birds can weigh up to 26 pounds and have a wingspan up to 9.5 feet.
  • Condors were added to the federal Endangered Species List in 1967.
  • Lead poisoning is the leading cause of death for California Condors in Arizona, with 23 deaths confirmed since 2000.

For more information, contact:

Erin Katzner
Director of Global Engagement
Main Phone:     208-362-3716
Direct Phone:     208-362-8277

Additional contact

Susan Whaley, The Peregrine Fund, (208) 362-8274
Jeff Humphrey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (602) 242-0210, ext. 222
Lynda Lambert, Arizona Game and Fish Department, (623) 236-7203
Rachel Tueller, Bureau of Land Management, (435) 688-3303
Maureen Oltrogge, Grand Canyon National Park, (928) 638-7779
Cory Maylett, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, (801) 518-6125
Patrick Lair, Kaibab National Forest, (928) 643-8172