Environmental News

Live Condor Cameras Stream Insight Into Endangered Birds In California

Witnessing a California condor in the wild no longer needs to be a one in a million occurrence. As of this week, it is now possible to watch live streams of this extremely rare bird without having to leave home.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, along with other conservation groups including the Ventana Wildlife Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, began live streaming two condor nests in California earlier this week. “The condor cams provide a rare glimpse in the life cycle of a wild nest, including parents interacting with each other and attending to their baby,” according to The Washington Post.

It is the hope that these web cams will spread awareness and insight to these majestic creatures. The outpouring of support began on day one, where around “13,000 unique visitors watched a total of 3,000 hours of live video of the birds in Ventura County.”

Supervisory wildlife biologist Joseph Brandt of the US Fish and Wildlife Service has high hopes that these web cams will continue public support for condors. “It’s going to be a really excellent outreach tool to raise awareness,” he said. “The ability to reach an audience with these online cameras is just fantastic.”

In 1982, the outlook for the survival of California condors was bleak. There were only 23 of North America’s largest land birds in existence, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In an effort to save the species from extinction, the agency put the remaining condors into captivity. In 1992, Fish and Wildlife began to release these birds back into the wild.

Now, 23 years later, the California Condor population has grown to “nearly 400 California condors, most of which live in the wild.” These carrion birds weight between 15 and 20 pounds, have a wingspan of up to nine feet, and eat 3.5 pounds of meat per day. About 190 condors currently live in captivity.

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