Condor comeback: First eggs spotted in breeding season - Tucson News Now

Condor comeback: First eggs spotted in breeding season for endangered bird

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(Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department) (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Wildlife workers are seeing the first signs of what they hope will be a successful breeding season for an endangered bird that was once extinct in the wild.

Earlier this month, workers found eggs in a wild flock of California condors in both Arizona and Utah. Eggs also turned up in a captive flock in Idaho.

Last year, four young condors hatched in the Arizona-Utah wild population, the most ever in one season.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Condor is one of the rarest bird species in the world, with less than 250 living in the wild as of last year.  Poaching, poisoning and destruction of their habitat nearly wiped the bird out in the 1980's until an aggressive effort began to save it.

The first egg in the wild Arizona-Utah flock was reported Feb. 11. The adults will incubate it for about two months in their nest at a remote location in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Biologists will continue to monitor the birds from afar to confirm when the eggs hatch and the nestlings take their first flight. They will continue to observe the young birds as they are raised by their parents for about a year.

Breeding is also under way in the captive flock at The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho. The center expects the captive flock to produce up to 20 young birds this season.
  
The recovery effort is a cooperative program by federal, state, and private partners including the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more information on condors in Arizona-Utah, visit www.azgfd.gov/condor

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