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10 March 2008 @ 03:22 pm
California Condors  
The California Condor is one of the rarest species of bird and there are just about 300 of them living (wild + captivity). They almost went extinct, but twenty-two remaining birds were captured and in captivity their numbers increased. They are now slowly being reintroduced to the wild and there are three places in the world to see them (in the wild): Grand Canyon, Pinnacles National monument near the San Francisco bay area and Baja California. The conservation of the Condors is the most expensive project undertaken to save an American bird species and I'm glad they did that. The beauty of this massive bird moving across the skies with ease is totally worth the strenuous hike up to the high peaks of Pinnacles.

Look at the wikipedia entry for beautiful pictures and history of this bird:

I did the Bear-Gulch trail and this is what the national park service has to say about it:

High Peaks–Bear Gulch Loop
6.7 mile loop, 4 to 5 hours
elevation gain: 1,425 feet

Add camera gear, tripod, clear skies and hot weather, strong winds and it becomes madness.

A condor soars next to the cliffs. There's a spring right by where the condor is flying and I was standing close to that before I climbed for another hour and saw the condor almost kissing the place where I was standing. What luck! :) The trees you see on the ground is where the trail starts about 400 meters below.

Condor #17 of the Pinnacles soars by

Lousy photograph... but just see how big a Condor is when it flies close to a Golden Eagle! By the way, Golden eagles are the only known birds which can chase away a Condor apparently! :)

Condor #17 once again.

Margaretrivendweller on March 11th, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
Those photos are NOT lousy! I am completely impressed! I have never seen a condor in flight, or even in person. I am so envious. Wow. Beautiful.

Thank you so much.
ashbirderashbirder on March 11th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC)
cool :D they seem to be tagged with something
Yathinyathin on March 11th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
All them are tagged with number and I think they are tracked because I saw antennas of some kind on their backs.
kejnkejn on March 11th, 2008 05:35 am (UTC)
ooooh! now that bird is a dinner and a half! :)
how much do they weigh??
Yathinyathin on March 11th, 2008 05:39 am (UTC)
I wish I could hold them and weigh them, but for now wikipedia says 7 to 14 kg (or close to 30 pounds). They look much heavier than that though, like a small plane or something.
ZuZusuzan_s on March 11th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
Great photos! I saw the California Condors when I was at the Grand Canyon.....an incredible sight!
suhassuhas on March 12th, 2008 09:13 am (UTC)
Is it true that condors are caught in Mexico for festivals?
Yathinyathin on March 12th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
They probably used to catch them... but not anymore I guess! With 300 of them left in the world?
depontideponti on March 12th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
WOW Yathin. Not just the birds...I just looked at the background and was awed.

1.Posting TTS (Truly Terrible Shots, aka lousy photographs) is MY copyright. I know that these are probably lousy by your standards...but...I am SO glad you posted them. Just look at the picture where I can compare a Condor with a Golden Eagle. What a telling photograph! So what if the technical and artistic perfection is not there, according to you? These are snaps in which, to me at least, the content is what matters.

And a simple thing like the fact that they have some tags and stuff like that on the wings...I would not be likely to learn that from a Wiki...

And the last thing, you must be extremely physically fit to have done the climbing and trekking that you did, with all your gear as well...congrats on that. Good health...and fitness... is a real treasure.