Condors,condor,california condor,condors

Nov. 01/04

First some information.

Scientific Name - Gymnogyps californianus
Family - Cathartidae [ New World Vultures ]
Wingspan - 9.5 feet
Life Span Possibly 60 years
Condors reach sexual maturity & attain adult plumage & coloration by 5 or 6 years old.
Generally the immature Condor has a dark or blackish head instead of the adult bird's reddish hear.
However, the adult Condor when cold can cause a black sheath to cover up its neck and head.
There is no viable difference between the makes and the females.
Unless your a Condor the way to tell the difference is with a blood test.
Condors are strict scavengers.
They find their food visually, they often will investigate the activity of other scavengers such as Eagles,Coyotes, Ravens.

If the Condors are flying overhead note the wing tag number.
Then you go to the Peregrine Fund Condor Project on the web at;
and learn all about the Condor(s) you may have seen.


Last year a nest here failed. The park biologist repelled down some 170 feet or more to this cave entrance to see what possibly may have gone wrong. Remains found in the nest cave were from the Pleistocene area which in geologic terms is from 10,000 to about two million years ago. The juvenile and adult condor remains were Carbon 14 dated from 11,000 to 23,000 years ago. Remains of of at least three extinct mammals were also found in the cave, an extinct horse, bison, and brush ox.

I don't know nor did I ask if I could put down the names of the people that told this so I won't unless they ask me to.


The Condor nest site revisited on Hopi Point South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

If you don't have extreme patience and at least a 16 power binoculars or 40 to 60 power scope your not going to see much.

As for photographing it, forget it. Digascope is the only way to do, but I don't own one.


WOW, what a difference a week makes.
Just after I left a week ago they had a record wet snow for this time of year, approx. 14 or more inches.


As you can see much of that record snow has melted, thank goodness.


It was a very wet snow and there are many broken limbed trees along all of the roads.


When the snow covers up their food the deer come to great the tourist.

There were deer every where except where they should have been and
that was back in the woods & not out on the road looking for hand outs.


I had'em in front of me, I had'em in back of me.

You just never knew when one would jump out from behind a tree, shrub in front of you.


Better stop lookin in the rear view and watch where I am driving.


As you can see I am off the road.
This one jumped right out in front of me so I hit the side of the road.

I sat here for about 20 minutes and counted approx. 30 plus deer crossing.


And they just kept coming


One last thing, you had better heed the signs, I saw a park ranger
stop the car ahead of me and ticket them for feeding the deer.


Those poor ole MULES they have to make that trip to the bottom every day come rain, sleet, hail, snow.


Mule information


While in the Bright Angel gift shop I saw a cute T-shirt

I made it big so you could read it.


No matter where I looked there was piles of snow, and it was COLD.


Well I had better head on out to Hopi Point.


As soon as I parked I had another beggar looking for a hand out.

I believe this is a Western Bluebird.


Yes I know now it's a Western Bluebird, possible young or female.


In the top of almost every tree were Western Scrub Jays packing away some kind of a pine goody.


And down below were the Stellers jays pecking out bugs from the bark of those same trees.


And just then a

Condor came soaring over head which reminds me why I came out in the first place.


Well it it's not the best photo I have ever taken.

What you are looking at is the male condor number 122 feeding its chick.

Remember now this cave nest site is a mile away from my camera
& the wind is so bad I can't put on any more magnification.


Here I have put in a couple arrows pointing this out


Actually this should have been the first photo. The chick sees it parent and flys to him to get fed.


All three birds in the cave opening.


Well, the wind has about blown me off the edge several times so I think I shall call it a day,
besides I am just about froze and want to get back to a nice warm motel room and a hot shower.


Bad photo BUT;
Considering the magnification, not to bad.

Distance from the camera is, 5100 feet.
I would guess this magnification is about equal to 20,000 mm lens if there was such a thing.

Photo taken through an armature mirror telescope using a Nikon Coolpix 5000 at its max. telephoto capabilities.
The camera was hand held and I would once again guess that's why it is blurry, showing much movement.


Back to the beginning or Back to What's on this site

I may try to make one more trek to the canyon, however, I was told this chick may fledge in a week or so.
It is now 11/01/04.

Condor information page.


Tag number ID page of the wing tags