California Condors at Zion National Park

Here at the Aviary, we've been keeping a "bird's eye" view on the California condors in Zion National Park. If you haven't heard the big news, two California condors decided to build a nest in Zion National Park, off the famous Angel's Landing trail of all places.....way to be subtle you two condors. Why is this a big deal? In 1982, there were less than 25 recorded California condors in the wild. One of the main causes of California condor deaths–lead bullets in animal carcasses. Bird experts weren't okay with this and decided to do something about the decline of California condors before it was too late.

Biologists collected the remaining few birds, with hopes of breeding them in captivity to eventually release the California condor back into the wild, much like the Guam kingfisher. In 1992, Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge released captive-bred condors in Ventura, California. Since then, California condors have been released in Arizona and other areas of California, with the now majority found in Arizona, Utah, California and Baja Mexico. 

The two wild California condors found in Zion National Park have been incubating an egg on the famous Angel's Landing cliffside sometime since March, and we're crossing our fingers for a successful hatch sometime in May 2019, according to KSL news. Since California condors only lay and incubate one egg at a time, without the promise of nesting each year, the potential baby condor hatching would be a special and rare milestone in the bird world. 

If you want to attempt a sighting of the wild condors, but Zion is just too far of a drive or Angel's Landing is just too terrifying of a hike, you can visit with our Andean condor, the famous Andy N.Condor, at Tracy Aviary. Other ways to support the condors, grabbing a cup of Condor coffee at the Bird Feeder Cafe (a portion of the proceeds supports condors in the wild), donating to our conservation division, or cheering on Andy at his 60th birdday party on April 27th. 

Video of the California condors on Fox13 seen HERE


-Lauren Wester, Marketing & Communications Coordinator