With all of the fine entertainment now on TV, you’d think that watching a baby condor go about its business on a remote mountain perch near Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in California wouldn’t be that captivating. But somehow it is. Thanks to a livestream video from the Cornell Lab Bird Cams Project, you can check up on the little bird with big feet whenever you want and, if you’re lucky, you can even see it interact with its parents.
California condors – the largest bird in North America – are a critically endangered species, but they are slowly rebounding. There were only 22 of them left in the wild in 1987, but there are now 276 with another 200 thriving in captive breeding programs. So getting a chance to watch the birds in the wild is indeed a rare opportunity.
This is the third year a condor nesting site has been livestreamed by Cornell along with cooperation from the Santa Barbara Zoo and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, but this is the first time this particular nesting pair and its offspring has been featured. The chick’s mother is eight years old and was hatched at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise Idaho in 2009. Its father is 18 and hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo in 1999.