Monday, January 12, 2015

Congratulations to Shadow and Wild 1

It's about time we had a bit of good news, right?

Well, here you go: Surprise! Two California condors secretly mate, produce offspring

The love birds, known by the decidedly unpoetic names of 209 and 231,will now spend a year showing the apple of their beady-eyes how to survive in the wild.

The breeding pair, also known as “Shadow” and “Wild 1,” apparently produced their mystery nipper in a remote portion of the Ventana Wilderness in the Arroyo Seco drainage. Burnett said the area is very remote and virtually inaccessible on foot, which is why the tryst was never detected.

I (barely) remember seeing captive condors, 30 years ago during the desperation attempt to save them. I think we made a trip to San Diego, which is where the breeding program was conducted, only to discover that you couldn't actually see them, you could only be somewhere close to them and then watch them on some sort of CCTV screen.

More recently, we have made several trips to Pinnacles National Park, said to be one of the best places to view condors, but we've never been lucky enough to see them ourselves (saw lots of plain old vultures, though!).

Congratulations to Shadow and Wild 1: may you have a happy parenthood, and may I (someday) be lucky enough to see your offspring on my own travels.

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