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.
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