ENDANGERED SPECIES — It’s official: a pair of California condors are raising a wild chick in Zion National Park, the first chick to be documented in Utah in the bird's recovery under endangered species protections.
The nest is in a cavity 1,000 feet above a remote canyon floor. This chick is the offspring of first-time nesting parents. The occasion is particularly momentous because the results of first-time nesters often fail.
“This is the first documented occurrence of California condors raising a chick in Utah,” says Eddie Feltes, condor project manager with The Peregrine Fund.
Keith Day, regional wildlife biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says the chick won’t try to fly until November or December.
“California condors take about six months to fledge,” he says. “Their fledging period is the longest of any bird in North America.”
The parents will spend the next year raising the chick. “California condors typically produce one chick every other year,” he says.
Curious to see what the chick looks like? The location of the wild chick is being kept secret for its protection, but you can visit the condor camera at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where a condor hatched in the rearing facility within days of this wild-born condor.