Biologists Say Condor Hatched in Arizona
PHOENIX, Ariz. Biologists confirmed that a California condor chick has hatched in Arizona, the fourth to hatch in the wild in the state since the endangered birds were reintroduced here nearly 10 years ago, officials said Thursday.
The chick that hatched at the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, near the Arizona-Utah state line, may be one of two to arrive this season. Biologists believe a second chick also hatched recently in a remote part of Grand Canyon National Park.
Eddie Feltes, a field biologist with The Peregrine Fund, said he saw the chick with its mother through a scope. "The female condor was looking down toward her feet at a commotion of feathers and debris," he said in release. "Soon after, a chick stood out, contrasted against its mother's dark plumage."
The nonprofit Peregrine Fund runs a breeding facility in Boise, Idaho, where the birds are hatched and prepared for release, and has overseen Arizona's condor program.
The birds' population was down to 22 in the 1980s before efforts began to capture them and breed them in captivity. The first California condors were reintroduced in Arizona in 1996.
There are now 54 condors in the wild in Arizona and 274 in all, including captive and free-flying birds in California, Oregon, Idaho and Mexico.
Source: Associated Press