First wild condor chick from Bitter Creek takes to the sky

  • A six-month-old Bitter Creek condor trying its wings. [photo by USFWS]

    A six-month-old Bitter Creek condor trying its wings. [photo by USFWS]

By Patric Hedlund

Thanksgiving came early this month for the California Condor Recovery Program.

Supervising Wildlife Biologist Joseph Brandt confirmed this week that a mating pair of wild condors has for the first time in recorded history made a nest, hatched an egg and successfully fledged a chick in the Bitter Creek Canyon watershed area called Orchard Draw.

On  November 6, at about six months of age, the chick flew from…

Photo captions:

Wild California condor chicks like this have been hatching in Sespe for several years, but for the first time ever a chick has hatched at Bitter Creek—a good sign for recovery.

Condor 63 is a first-time father, but a good one. He was born in captivity and spent 20 years in the captive program. When given his freedom he wooed female 147. This is their first chick. Condors live to about 75 years of age. Under normal circumstances, they mate for life. This pair chose a spot for their nest not used before.

The Orchard Draw chick at 60 days, seen in a ‘screen shot’ photo from the nest cam that allows scientists to monitor the chick without disturbing it. The chick is relaxed in this photo, taken in July 2013.

2013 Bitter Creek California condor chick
Egg laid: Mar. 23
Egg hatched: May 19
Chick fledged: Nov. 6

To see full stories with photos, please go to The Mountain Enterprise e-Edition

(login required)

You can have your newspaper delivered via mail! Just call 661-245-3794.

Also, this story and others are available right now at newsstands throughout the Mountain Communities.

This is part of the November 29, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.