California Condors

California Condors
The California Condor is a magnificent vulture. They are the largest vulture in North America. They live in the southwest, where they can spot animal carcass with ease. The animals they eat are deer, elk, rodents, beavers, antelope, mountain goats, bears, water birds, lizards, and fish; all of which are dead. Condors help keep the environment clean; so without condors there would be dead animals everywhere.
California condors fly free in the states of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and, as the name suggests, California. But a long time ago, they lived all over the U.S. Back then, they ate a wide variety of mammoth, saber- toothed cat, rhino, camel, giant ground sloth, lion, cheetah, horses and turtle-like mammals called glyptodonts; as well as the animals they eat today. Since humans arrived some 10,000 years ago and hunted the great herds of mammals to extinction, the condor numbers have also dwindled. Then, in the 18 hundreds, hunters shot deer in the last few refuges of the condors, and just left the carcasses. BIG NO-NO!!! By leaving the carcasses to rot, when the condors and other scavengers came to feast, they ate bullet fragments left by the hunters; killing them and what ate them.By the 19 hundreds, only 22 California condors remained; so scientists captured all remaining condors and bred them at the San Diego zoo.  Now, there are about 500 condors in the world.

 

The difference between adult, juvenile, and baby condors are these.  Adults have pink heads, while juveniles have black heads, and babies also have pink heads, but white, downy bodies.

A baby CA. condor

A baby CA. condor

California condors nest in cliffs, where predators cannot eat the babies with ease.  A adult condor will lay only one egg at a time; but if the egg is stolen or destroyed, it will automatically lay another one.  So scientists take egg and nurse it in captivity with a puppet.  In other words, they are making the population grow.