Thursday, April 9, 2009

Skywatch--condors

When Hubby and I reached the high point of the high peaks trail we were thrilled to be rewarded for our efforts by five condors! We had hoped to see them but even on this trail it is not a certainty.
The condors are the largest bird in north America. They had been nearly driven to extinction when the last 22 were captured in 1987 and taken to the San Diego Wild Animal Park and Los Angeles Zoo for a captive breeding program. They began to be released back into the wild in 1991. There are now 321 living condors. (Wikipedia)
You can tell a juvenile from a mature condor by the color of its head. The head of a juvenile is grey while a mature condor has a red head.
Pinnacles, Big Sur, Piru, Grand Canyon, Zion and Baja California now have populations of Condors. Information on the Pinnacles population can be found here.

They are very social birds. I can't read the tags on this pair to see if it is the pair that the researchers think may be in a breading mood.
Unfortunately, not all people enjoy the condors. In the last month two have been found shot but alive. Both were taken to the LA Zoo for rehabilitation. More information can be found here.
Go to Skywatch Friday for more great sky photos.

42 comments:

Me and my puppies said...

What a great sighting, how wonderful for you.

Rob Ripma said...

They are such amazing birds and it is unbelieveable how big they are when you see them in the wild. It is sickening that people will actaully shoot these magnificent birds.

Guy D said...

Absolutely love those shots, the last one is my favourite of the one on the rocks.

Have a great weekend
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Maria said...

Amazing birds, I wonder how one manages to shoot them. Here in Austria we protect eagles living in the Alps. Same story.
Have anice Easter time!

Diane C. said...

How wonderful that you were able to see some condors first hand and take photos! Interesting condor info and links. I like the CondorCam gallery.

Daryl said...

Beautiful ...

Thanks for visiting mine. Spring in NYC is skitzo .. 1 nice warm sun filled day followed by 2 freezing cold not very sunny days or like yesterday .. a snow shower! So trees which live in the concrete jungle tend to unfurl their leaves more slowly than outside the city.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Gotta love it when your efforts are rewarded! And you captured them nicely with your camera to reward the rest of us. Thanks.

RuneK said...

Amazing birds pictures! :)

John said...

Absolutely great shots!

Mojo said...

Who shoots a bird like this?? I mean not with a camera. Hopefully they'll recover completely. I'd love to have the chance to take photos of these birds one of these days. Hopefully we still have some when the opportunity arises.

earthtoholly.com said...

How beautiful they are! Your first pic is amazing...that beautiful bird against that bold sky. Very nice!

ms426d said...

Lovely shots & thanks for sharing the information.

Ebie (The Main-Ingredient) said...

Your skies are so blue! We are planning to visit the Sieras in the middle of May. Hope to see the condors!

Tranquility said...

I think the condors are very interesting birds. Great close-ups!

W. Latane Barton said...

Martha, thanks for the kind words on my Journey through Alz. blog. That meant so much to me and I think you are very sweet to take your time to listen. Thanks so much.

koala said...

Condors give me the shivers (I know them only from Western movies;)
I am so glad to see You on my blog. I am a travel & history nut and so my travels blog turns more & more into a guide to my part of the world. I hope that in between my ramblings you'll find that part interesting.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I too am confused as to why someone would want to shoot one of them. They have very big number tags on them, don't they?

Great photos by the way.

Gill in Canada

Bim said...

Thanks for these - I've never managed to see any.

Tabib said...

Beautiful bird in flight pics.

Martha said...

Another Martha, stopping by from Skywatch Friday. Great photos.

fishing guy said...

Martha: Beautiful captures of the Condors in the blue sky.

Carolyn said...

These are wonderful photos and captures of these magnificant birds. Thank you so much for sharing and have a great weekend.
Smiles

Katney said...

There is a lot in common in our profiles. You said in a comment that you plan to come to Mt. Rainier this summer. Let me know when and we can be your guides.

Sally in WA said...

Wonderful photos. How sad that some people want to shoot them with guns instead of cameras.

Linnea W said...

They are so graceful as they glide effortlessly in the blue skies. Great series of shots and thanks for the interesting information. Hopefully, the condors will always be with us...

Denise said...

Incredible! Enjoyed your photos immensely, thank you.

Natural Moments said...

Several years back Stacey and I got to see two tagged Condors flying up upon the ridgelines of Big Sur. We were also happy to see them at the Grand Canyon too. Its nice that they are finally beginning to make a comeback.

bowledover said...

Freedom strikes my mind.
What fantastic pictures you have captured.
The grace with which the Condors glide is lovely.Thanks too for the information.
Thanks for your visit and comment.

Jane said...

Lovely shots, your so lucky to see them. I hope that they don't become extinct due to mans' cruelty>:(

Connie said...

I like these pictures. Love the first one. They have an interesting markings under their wings.

Arija said...

It would be wonderful to observe just one but to spot and photograph a pair is a wonderful achievement.

Barb said...

Hi Martha,
Your condor pictures are really something! I saw the Grand Canyon condors last May - I was so excited that when I tried to video them, I shook the camera and got a blurry sequence! What a wingspan!
Must tell you that I will definitely NOT ride over your son if he is running along the American River. However, now I guess I'll be forced to say "Hello" to every young man I pass - just in case it is your son! Tell him if a gray-haired lady on a black Trek bike passes and smiles, he should say, "Hi Barb!" Will not be there for another few weeks, though...Can't wait!

mountain.mama said...

Those were some great pictures to see, especially since we don't have condors in our neighborhood.

Thanks for checking out my blog and leaving kind comments. I know what you mean about time and too many blogs to read. I had to scale back and reclaim my face-to-face life!

Ruth said...

They look much like our Turkey Vultures, only bigger. Great flight pictures.

Fotos da Lurdes said...

Amazing bird!
Wonderful shots, Perfect capture!
Thanks for sharing, and for your visit and comment!
Happy Easter!
Have a nice weekend!

Michele said...

You have really captured this bird just beautifully! I love it in flight, how amazing is that!??!!

Violet said...

How exciting! They all look great.
Thanks for visiting me - my lowly gulls are a little sad in comparison to these majestic creatures.

Mary said...

Wonderful shots of the condors! Thanks for visiting my blog.

Lew said...

Well worth the climb to get shots of those magnificent birds!

Lily Hydrangea said...

wow! you sure got some amazing pictures. that is so sad about the birds that were shot. I feel sorry for the buggers that can't appreciate their beauty.

LaaGpayImo said...

I really admire, how you are able to rough it up. you are able to inspire me to do the same :-)

www.laagansagayud.com

George said...

I can only imagine how thrilling it must have been to see condors in their natural setting. You got wonderful pictures.