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The Peregrine Fund Notes From The Field

"Notes from the Field" provides frequent updates and pictures from our biologists and students who are working in the field or at our headquarters, the World Center for Birds of Prey.

Chris Parish

I was raised in Buttonwillow, California near the historical range of the remnant California condor population in the southern San Joaquin Valley. After a brief introduction to the wildlife of the desert foothills, I moved on to school at Northern Arizona University, obtaining a B.S. in Biology with emphasis on Fish and Wildlife Management. After working on the Black Footed Ferret Reintroduction Program for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, I transferred to the Flagstaff Regional Office as Condor Project Coordinator in 1997. Since fall 2000, I have been directing the condor project’s field effort for The Peregrine Fund.

View Chris Parish's full profile on the Global Raptor Information Network (GRIN)

Found 8 entries matching your request:

December 2004 – January 2005

Chris Parish — in California Condor Restoration

Greetings Notes from the Field readers. I left you last with news of the two new wild hatched fledglings here in northern Arizona, so I will just start there. Condor 350 (wild-hatched fledgling at the Grand Canyon) has been venturing out from the vicinity of the nest cave some 1.0 to 1.5 miles. Judging by these flights and the chick’s ability and willingness to roost away from the area of the nest cave, I would say that things are looking good for this chick. The parents are frequently visiting and are quite often a huge help in locating the tagless, transmitterless, young condor. Weather permitting, we can often view the chick from the rim, but when he or she is out of view, we like to hike into the canyon and make our observations. Consistent observation has been less than optimal this year due to bouts of bad weather, bringing more moisture than usual and causing the closure of the main trail into the Grand Canyon.

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November 2004

Chris Parish, Beau Fairchild — in California Condor Restoration

Greetings Notes from the Field readers. Well, November truly played out as a month for giving thanks. Although this time of year tends to bring our spirits down a bit due to necessary lead testing, trapping and often cases of lead poisoning, we are now experiencing a new occurrence in the “to be expected” category—fledging! Those of you that have been following the Notes from the Field and possibly the recent media attention know what I am talking about. We have been waiting a little more than six months for two wild hatched condor chicks (Condors 350 and 342) to fledge in their respective nest caves in the Grand Canyon and the Vermilion Cliffs.

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September-October 2004

Chris Parish — in California Condor Restoration

Greetings to readers of Notes from the Field! We are extremely busy with yet another critical stage in the yearly cycle of condor monitoring. I will fill in the gaps and bring you up-to-date for the past two months.

At the last update, I left you with information on our two nestlings, including Condor 342 at Vermilion Cliffs and Condor 350 at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Both chicks, with only about ten days’ difference in age, appear to be developing as expected. Daily observations reveal increasingly vigorous bouts of flapping and jumping about as they continue to explore their nest caves and as much of the areas immediately surrounding the cave as they possibly can without losing footing.

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August 2004

Chris Parish — in California Condor Restoration

Right when you believe that another week of the sometimes-intolerable summer heat will do you in, you find yourself following a condor to a place you’ve never been. Like any job, just when you begin to think you have a handle on the daily tasks, a curve ball slips by.

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July 2004

Chris Parish — in California Condor Restoration

I began last month’s update with a peek into July by describing the visual confirmation of Condor 342, the Vermilion Cliffs' nestling from 2004. Had I waited another day or two, I could have included the following information from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon—just three days after we visually confirmed the Vermilion Cliffs' chick (Condor 342), biologists and Grand Canyon nest watch volunteers were treated to the first sighting of Condor 350, also produced in 2004. Its parents are nine-year-old female Condor 119 and nine-year-old male Condor 122. For those of you with long memories of these notes, you may remember that these two adult condors were first released in May of 1997 at the Vermilion Cliffs release site. Cheers and sighs of relief greeted the reproduction of a chick by this pair that has tried without success to breed during the past two years. It brings us to the next level of concern (and crossed fingers) for the next important stage: fledging. By the time of this posting, both chicks will have made it roughly halfway through the six-month pre-fledging period. Observations from both nest caves continue to show daily visits, many times including feedings, by the parents. Nearly everyday, reports come in from biologists and volunteers exclaiming about very healthy and active chicks exploring their respective caves.

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June 2004

Chris Parish — in California Condor Restoration

I will begin this happy update by reviewing some history. Remember that sometime near the middle of March, veteran crew member Eddie Feltes and his coworkers noticed a change in the behavior of Condors 114 and 149 at a cave on the face of Vermilion Cliffs. It had already been established that these condors were showing great interest in one another as well as the cave. Had Condor 149 laid an egg? The behavior of the male and female certainly suggested that they were taking turns incubating, although the distance and angle to the cave entrance made observations difficult. Based on the date we first observed this behavior, plus countless hours of more observation, digging through literature, phone calls to the captive breeding folks, and many crossed fingers, we figured we might soon have a chick.

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May 2004

Chris Parish — in California Condor Restoration

Before we begin this month’s installment of Notes from the Field, I would like to give a sincere thank you and a warmest goodbye to a valued friend and coworker. Sophie Osborn, our Field Manager for the past four years, has moved down the road of her career to another chapter in the life of a fantastic biologist. For those of you who have followed her “Notes from the Field,” you will know what I mean when I say we have lost a tremendous asset to the California Condor Restoration Project. Her contributions go far beyond her wonderful writing talents. To write that way, she did have to be there, and Sophie was there indeed!

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