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First Condor Nest in 100 Years Appears at Pinnacles National Monument

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Male condor 318 incubates an egg at Pinnacles National Monument, about 5 hours north of L.A. | Photo via National Park Service
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The endangered California Condor has faced some tough times, but it appears to be making a slow, yet strong comeback. Once down to a known-population of 22 in the 1980s, current counts have them at 348 today with more than half living in the wild. However, that number could soon grow to 349.

National Park Service officials with Pinnacles National Monument excitedly announced yesterday that the first Condor nest in 100 years has appeared within park boundaries. A 1½ year-old female (#317) released last year has mated with a nearly 7-year-old male (#318), who was released in 2004 along the Big Sur coast. Park biologists observed the two birds perform courtship behaviors for almost a month before an egg appeared.

The collecting Condor eggs partially led to the decline of the species over the years, as well as the chemical DDT, shooting, poisoning from lead and strychnine and general habitat degradation. In 1967, the bird, which is the largest in North America, was put on the endangered species list.