California Condor


In its natural state this large, carrion-eating bird lives by cruising over a wide area to find food. It cannot gain the required height without calm, warm weather and rising air currents on which to soar and circle upward. On cold or very windy days, the Condor has to remain on the ground. When not foraging, it spends long periods idling or preening its feathers at a roost site.

• NEST A single egg is laid on the ground, on a rock ledge, or in a cave.

• DISTRIBUTION W. USA (but now mainly found in captivity).

• REMARK The California Condor was considered a threat to livestock and birds were killed to the point where the species was in danger of extinction. Prospects of recovery were restricted by the slow breeding rate of the Condor, which reproduces every two years and takes five to seven years to mature. Numbers continued to fall, with only 17 left in 1984. The remaining population was taken into captivity in the middle 1980s. Since then thev have

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