Follow the latest updates from VWS Biologists who lead the on-the-ground efforts to return the endangered California Condor to the wild.
Central Coast California Condor Count= 70+ free-flying
March 27, 2013
Two condors released!
We have finally released our two captive birds, 597 and 615, into the wilds of Big Sur. They are now the newest members of the flock and we look forward to seeing them soaring above the ridges of Ventana Wilderness. 597 was “soft release" (a release requiring no handling) from the flight pen. 597 chose to give the team the slip as she flew down the canyon from the get-go. It was over a week before the bird was seen again, but 597 was observed feeding and socializing with other condors at the release site by the end of the month. 615 needed a little tail feather maintenance before release. He had lost six of his tail feathers due to unusual wear and tear in the flight pen, rendering him flightless. Mike Clark came up from the LA Zoo to give the condor a special batch of new feathers with a falconry technique known as “imping.” Mike attached specially-prepared feathers with pieces of wood and glue to 615’s feather stumps to fashion a new tail for the bird. 615 was released into the world and he took to the wild with confidence and spunk. He spent the first day socializing with the older birds and observing his new surroundings.