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Condors in California
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Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
Condors in California on 03/04/2012 21:25:16 MST Print View

I had to be in King City this weekend for work, and took the opportunity to run out to the Pinnacles on Saturday afternoon for a quick visit. We didn't really have time to do much hiking, but the weather was beautiful, and it felt great to just get outside and catch some fresh air.

We found a parking space (only because it was late in the day) and started walking up the trail through Condor Gulch. This trail has some nice views, and we were having great fun.

And then we saw the condors.

The conditions were perfect, with very still air, and enough sunshine to create some nice updrafts for them to ride. We spent about twenty minutes watching them, and then had to get back down the trail to our next event.

According to some of the hikers we met on the trail, some of these birds were perched within about twenty yards of the trail up at the top of the peaks, and people were pretty darn excited about it.


I don't think there are any in the photo above, but you can click on the link which will take you the rest of the photos, some of which have the birds in view. But you'llyou have to zoom in to the max to see them.

Or you can zoom in on the photo below, taken as one soared over our heads.


David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Condors in California on 03/04/2012 22:38:49 MST Print View

That's cool!

I've got long-term birders on my side and some more serious birder in-laws. We were in GCNP for 16 days on a private raft trip and everyone was looking for condors the whole time. How exciting that they can be seen so close to (the ancestorial) home.

Thanks for the tip! We pass through CA a few times a year.

I find it interesting how bald eagles at home (in Alaska) are nice, but sort of common and ho-hum. Whereas to see them on the Sunol-Del Valle trail in the East Bay seems so much more exciting.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Condors in California on 03/05/2012 00:12:13 MST Print View

California condor adolescent

Here is another shot of a California condor at the Pinnacles. This one is an adolescent, judging by the dark gray head. These are unique birds, and highly protected. In fact, one of the flight training cages is within the Pinnacles N.M. property. Think how many millions of federal tax dollars went into saving them from extinction.


Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
CA Condors on 03/05/2012 10:49:29 MST Print View

What great luck getting to catch a few glimpses of the Condors! And in such a neat place too. I've only been to the Pinnacles once for a day hike; it was really interesting scenery; I'd lover to get back there.

There's a few areas deep into my local backcountry that are great condor watching areas, near either current or past release sites, etc.

It's always a treat to get to see them soar overhead on the updrafts.

I remember one sighting a couple of years ago in Big Sur. We were driving along Hwy 1 and a couple of Condors were taking turns alternately perching on the crags above the highway and soaring out over the highway and coastal cliffs. It caused a minor traffic jam while folks pulled over anywhere they could to try to snap a couple photos of the giant birds.

jody vukas
(bologma) - F
Sighting on 03/13/2012 15:06:33 MDT Print View

Not California but wife and I had a pair fly *right* over our heads at Scout's Landing in Zion.

Paul Iracki
(piracki) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
Ventana Wildlife Center at Andrew Molera State Park near Big Sur for Condors on 03/13/2012 15:41:05 MDT Print View

If you're looking for condors along the Big Sur coast, stop in at the Ventana Wildlife Society Center at Andrew Molera State park (you don't even have to pay the state park entry fee) We've seen lots of condors along that beautiful stretch of the California coast after some helpful tips from the volunteers at the Center.