Wednesday, March 31, 2010

6 California Condor eggs so far at Oregon Zoo

At Oregon Zoo's Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, the big birds are busy. As of last week, keepers found six fertile eggs in the critically endangered species' nests.

"This year's breeding season is off to a great start," said Shawn St. Michael, Oregon Zoo curator of birds. "The eggs look healthy, and the parents are doing a great job so far of incubating and nesting."

Because of captive-breeding programs like the one at Oregon Zoo, condors in captivity and in the wild now number more than 330. In 1982, only 22 condors lived in the wild.

The largest land birds in North America, condors' wingspans can measure up to 10 feet, and they typically weigh 18 to 25 pounds. Because the birds are scavengers and feed on carrion and carcasses shot by hunters, they are susceptible to lead poisoning from bullet fragments and can slowly starve to death. (In response, hunters have begun to adopt non-lead and all-copper ammunition.)

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Blogger Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

It's a dream of mine to see a Condor in the wild one day.

March 31, 2010 6:04 PM  

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