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Coming soon to a crag near you?

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Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

Took a trip to the World Center for Birds of Prey, here in Boise, recently. Their breeding program now has the largest captive flock of California condors, close to 70 birds! There is talk of a release in Hells Canyon, but with ringtails spotted in extreme southern Idaho in recent years, it seems reasonable that these feathered pterosaurs might make it here on their own!

The wolverine sightings mentioned on a thread way back end of summer inspired me to finally get these guys on here.

Oh, and we had a mountain lion (spotted), and a bobcat (spotted and photographed) in town a few weeks ago, too.

Best, H.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

The problem with the Condor breeding program is this .... the food for the Condor is gone.

In California they would thrive by eating the Dead Whales on the beaches and once open range cattle were introduced by the Spanish they would eat those also. Right now in California Dead Whales are dragged out to sea or cut up and taken to land fills. None of the people who live in Malibu or Laguna Beach wants a dead Whale lying around for 3 months stinking up the beach.

I would imagine that out in Idaho, Montana and other parts of the west the Buffalo was the main source of food.

Where I live, Moorpark, we are within a 20 min glide from the Condor Sanctuary where the original breeding program started. I see them sort of regularly, at first you think its a small plane.... amazing to see.

Thanks for posting, I didn't know they had other breeding programs.

rging · · Salt Lake City, Ut · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 210

Nothing like getting buzzed by a condor while climbing. Zion National Park. Unfortunately the park is more like a zoo these days with the visitor volume.

Seems that their major food source is either a hunting kill that got away which results in lead poisoning or road kill and they get run over. I wish them luck though because it is fun to see such a large bird in the wild.…

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

I love that video!

Food, I think, historically has been anything dead. So, they also used to be in places like along the Columbia and many other rivers, where the salmon runs were.

Turkey vultures are still doing fine, and widespread, so I think there's a lot out there still, food wise.

Around here, if it looks at first glance like an old Cessna high wing, you're probably looking at a golden eagle! Lots smaller, but still impressive.

Breeding programs are in various locations. Idaho is the largest, but there are others. Oregon zoo, San Diego, the sanctuary, maybe some others I don't remember.

The World Center for Birds of Prey got going BITD to recover Peregrine falcons, also a great success story. Those scream through our downtown every season, now, and I love hearing them, and watching the nesting progress via a live cam. The center has worked on various species from all over the world, and is quite cool to visit, if you enjoy raptors. Or condors. :-)


rging · · Salt Lake City, Ut · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 210

Peregrines have come back nicely since the 70s. I see them quite regularly and run into closed nesting areas. Here's one we ran into climbing Sundial in Utah. I had this image in my head that it was going to majestically flap its wings and fly off. What actually happened was it jumped off the cliff kamikaze style and bombed straight down. By the time we hit the true summit 15 minutes later it was circling at eye level. I don't think it flapped its wings once to gain the 3,000 vertical.

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October, weather permitting, the World Center has a flight program, the main reason I hustled out in early October.

They brought out a huge owl (like a great horned, but much larger) and five or six different raptors, all trained to the fist, and free flying. One at a time, I mean! They release them from various places, so they fly in to the outdoor amphitheatre, to the staff person's fist, and they proceed to give a talk and show the birds off. All this while these creatures are whizzing around inches away.

One of the first out was a very young, but full grown, Peregrine, with a newish young lady flying her, who had been training with her the bird's full flying life, three months or so. At one point, the falcon stooped to the lure, flying, not even in a dive, whacking it full force, and the lure whacked the trainer hard in the face. Both her and the bird sat on the ground a few minutes until she recovered. She then explained, awe in her voice, that this was the first time her bird had flown full out. She added she was very grateful she was not a duck! And, gamely, continued on with her parts of the program.

These birds all have live telemetry on them, so they could tell us she was "only about 90mph". Just cruisin' around. Lol!


BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

Maybe they could teach em to hunt pigeons in the cities...

also there's this..…;utm_medium=twitter

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290
BigB wrote:Maybe they could teach em to hunt pigeons in the cities... also there's this..…;utm_medium=twitter
Don't have to teach them a thing. Cities like Boise are where they were originally released, and have been returning to nest in our urban "cliffs" ever since.

I haven't seen pigeons, but I did see a Peregrine flying right by me, hauling a robin!

Turkey story is pretty cool, too, thanks! We've got a big horned owl nesting in one part of our local cliffs (among other types), and that one does dive bomb!
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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