|A California condor in flight. Photo Credit: Gary Kramer/USFWS|
More than 70 California condors soar through the skies of Arizona and Utah, including two new fledglings. A total of 25 chicks have hatched in the wild since condors were first introduced in Arizona in 1996.
Program biologists from The Peregrine Fund and Zion National Park have confirmed that two California condor chicks have left their nests and taken flight in northern Arizona, but hopes of a third chick successfully reaching the fledgling milestone in southern Utah have been dashed by a lack of visual observation. The third chick was Utah’s first wild-hatched condor chick.
“Although two out of three 2014 condor chicks surviving to fledging remains encouraging, the loss of Utah’s first chick is a hard reminder that critters have a tough go of it in the wild,” says Chris Parish, Condor Program Director for The Peregrine Fund, which manages the wild Arizona-Utah flock.
California condors are an amazing bird, the largest land birds in North America with wingspans up to 10 feet and weighing up to 25 pounds. Can you imagine seeing these birds flying at speeds up to 55 mph?