Friday, November 20, 2015

The Plight of the Grand Canon Condor

This afternoon we were sitting with Mom watching a PBS program on the Condors of the Grand Canon and Mom was just astounded and saddened that there are only 72 of them left in the wild where as once they numbered in the thousands. Now these are huge (with a wing span of over 8 feet) and somewhat ugly looking birds but they are also natures clean-up team - eating things that die in the canon. Sadly it is that very thing that is also killing them. See hunting is still a big thing in and around the canon and hunters use lead bullets. When they leave the carcass of a deer behind they often leave the pellets in them and the Condors eat this and it gives them lead poisoning. The TV show followed a pair of condors over the last 8 years and each year they have just one baby and for the last 7 years each baby has died due to lead poisoning which they absorb from the regurgitated food (sadly the babies can't absorb any level of lead). Condor babies are also very slow growing taking 6 - 8 months before they leave the nest.  This year the Condors actually managed to raise their first baby all the way through to it taking flight but it takes some VERY dedicated people who catch each and every Condor on a regular basis to check their lead levels and treat them if they are found to be high. If you look in the picture you can see each Condor has a number on their wings. They are also leaving non contaminated carcasses for the Condors to feed on - especially when raising a chick. They may be ugly looking dudes but it would sad to never see them soaring in the thermal above the canon.


  1. That must have been a very interesting documentary to watch. Thank you for telling us all about the condors. We hope those good peeps can do a lot to help save them.

    Woos - Ciara and Lightning

  2. What majestic birds! The San Diego Zoo has a program in progress right now to help them!

  3. Many many years ago husband and I were at the Grand Canyon on a day they happened to be releasing several of these birds into the wild that had been raised somewhere. We got to see a couple of them flying, it was amazing.

  4. It is such a shame what we do to our wildlife. They are not the prettiest creatures but they don't have feathers on their heads because of the way they have to eat. It keeps them from getting yucky. I am so glad that they had a baby survive.

  5. Yes, I agree, a bird does not have to be pretty to be magnificent, and we should praise those wonderful people who devote so much time to making sure these condors do not disappear from the skies.
    Cheers, Gail.

  6. They aren't very handsome but they need to live and survive too. We hope they make a comeback!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  7. It's scary when we are able to count them exactly... that's a serious warning sign for the species :o( I cross my paws for the baby-condor and I hope we will see some more of that birds in the future in their natural habitat....

  8. That's very interesting. Thanks. We have tons of regular turkey vultures around here. Their numbers are going up. Years ago, if you saw one in the distance, it was like a miracle!

  9. Hellooooooo Reilly & Denny ~ I got you wonderful picture Christmas card today. Lee has three cards and I had none till today. Thank You. I have my postcards but no labels. Staples is to far for Lee to drive yet. We asked our friend but she said no to getting them so we ordered them on line and they are out of stock and we are waiting.
    We have a wonderful post for Monday about our neighbor who traveled 10,000 miles to Sumatra Indonesia to try an save a species. It will bring tears to your eyes but hope to your heart. You will see my neighbor.
    So many species are just gone forever.
    Thanks for the card
    Sweet William The Scot


Thank you for woofing at us - we read each and every one of them