We're celebrating Vulture Week because today marks International Vulture Awareness Day! This commemorative day has been celebrated since at least 2009 and aims to highlight the importance of vultures and vulture conservation through education. Why are vultures bald? Read more »
The California Condor, a magnificent bird belonging to the New World vulture family Cathartidae, is a symbol of avian grandeur and resilience. This awe-inspiring species primarily graces the skies in regions such as the Grand Canyon area, along with the western coastal mountains of California and northern Baja California.
Known as the largest land bird in North America, the California Condor has an impressive wingspan that can reach up to 9.5 feet, enabling it to soar gracefully at high altitudes. With a striking black plumage and distinctive white patches under the wings, it presents a majestic sight when gliding on thermal currents. This bird has a bald head and neck, an adaptation for hygiene, allowing the skin to be exposed to the sterilizing effects of sunlight.
The California Condor has been a focus of conservation efforts, particularly due to its critical status in the wild. By the mid-20th century, its population had dwindled alarmingly, leading to an intensive conservation program that involved captive breeding and reintroduction. These efforts have been pivotal in preventing its extinction, but the condor remains one of the world's rarest bird species. It continues to face challenges like habitat loss and lead poisoning, highlighting the ongoing need for environmental protection and sustainable practices.
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The California Condor has been selected as Audubon California's Bird of the Year for 2011. The endangered species won the title after receiving nearly 35% of the almost 10,000 votes cast in the annual election. The condor beat out the Black Oystercatcher, Western Snowy Plover, Read more »
Yes, vultures can be cute - our Birdorable vultures prove just that! Although vultures may be known for eating dead things, using projectile vomit as a defense measure and even cooling themselves by urinating on their own legs, these carrion-eating baldies aren't all about the ick-factor. For... Read more »
This video from the Ventana Wildlife Society gives an update on the 2009 nesting season for the endangered California Condors they monitor. You can help the society by volunteering to help clean up the condor habitat or by making a donation. A... Read more »