20 September 2003
Sophie Osborn— 20 September 2003 — in California Condor Restoration ShareGreetings Notes from the Field Readers. Just a quick update to let you know that the first wild-hatched condor in Arizona is alive and well! Our first baby condor recently received its name! Henceforth, it will be known as Condor 305. Although this may sound like a mere number to most people, to those of us that monitor the condors on a daily basis these numbers become names.
Various condor field crewmembers have now taken turns making the arduous 24-mile round-trip hike into the canyon to monitor the nestling. All have returned from viewing the condor chick for their first time with smiles on their faces and exclamations of “It’s so full of energy!” Indeed, the chick spends most of its time looking out of its lofty cave, preening busily, flapping its enormous, though not yet fully-feathered wings, and bouncing around its increasingly confining home.
Parent Condors 123 and 127 are still working relentlessly to keep their chick well fed. Each day we have watched the nestling, it has had either a full or partially full crop. It is now 20 weeks-old. We expect (and desperately hope) it will fledge within the next four to six weeks! It is now entering a tremendously difficult time in terms of its development – requiring extraordinary amounts of food energy to grow the remainder of its feathers. Whether or not it will make it is still anyone’s guess, but with every passing day, we can’t help but become increasingly hopeful that it will soon spread its wings and take its first flight into the vastness of the Grand Canyon.
We’ll keep you posted!
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