National Geographic Society Newsroom

California Condor Chick on Webcam

California condors Sisquoc and Shatash welcomed a baby chick this week, in full view of the world watching them via webcam. “With just over 400 California condors in existence, this endangered species is still an uncommon sight, making this hatching all the more significant,” San Diego Zoo Safari Park said in a news statement about...

California condors Sisquoc and Shatash welcomed a baby chick this week, in full view of the world watching them via webcam.

“With just over 400 California condors in existence, this endangered species is still an uncommon sight, making this hatching all the more significant,” San Diego Zoo Safari Park said in a news statement about the happy event. For only the second time, the zoo has given the public the opportunity to watch condor parents in action via its Condor Cam.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Sisquoc and Shatash’s chick and be able to share this incredible experience with everyone,” said Michael Mace, San Diego Zoo Safari Park curator of birds. “This rare experience of watching a condor chick is no longer for a select few. We invite you to watch this fantastic experience, the beginning cycle of a California condor’s life, from the egg until it fledges.”

The largest flying bird in North America, the California condor can glide on air currents as high as 15,000 feet. They feed on the carcasses of large mammals, such as cattle and deer. The loss of the great herds that once roamed North America may have contributed to their decline. Poisoning and illegal egg collection pushed them to the edge of extinction in the 1970s when their number fell to about two dozen.

Since a recovery program implemented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, zoos in the U.S. and Mexico, and U.S. and Mexican government agencies began in the 1980s, there are now more than 400 condors, half of which are flying free in California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico, according to San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The zoo has hatched 171 chicks and released more than 80 birds in the wild.

About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Meet the Author

Author Photo David Max Braun
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn