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Archive for the 'California condors' Category

Is this a turkey vulture, or a California condor?

Immature turkey vulture taking a sun bath. Photo by Frances Rice.
1turkey vulture frances rice

Gary:
While vacationing at a hotel near Marina Dunes State Park near Monterey, CA,  on Dec. 12, 2011, my husband and I noticed two turkey vultures on the top of sand dunes sunning themselves. A few minutes later another vulture-like bird landed on the sand dunes near the other vultures.

We immediately noticed that the newly arrived bird was not only larger than the two turkey vultures, it also had different coloring around its neck and head. Luckily, we had our cameras ready and started taking photos. The newly arrived bird opened its wings to sun itself as the turkey vultures were doing. It’s wing span was much larger than the size of the turkey vulture’s wing span.

We have researched on the Internet and in bird guides trying to determine what kind of a vulture this is. I’m wondering if it’s a juvenile California condor. I’m emailing a photo to you. Is this a condor? If so, what is their range now?
Frances Rice in cyberspace

Frances:
The bird in your photo is an immature turkey vulture. That’s why the head is black, not red. California condors are actually MUCH bigger. All California condors also wear large wing bands with special identifying numbers which can be seen easily from above and below. This helps researchers to keep track of them. Best place to see a condor in California is in the Big Sur area. Here’s an Internet file that tells you the best spots to view these enormous birds: http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/cabigsurmenu/a/condor-watch.htm.

You can get a good look at some condor photos here so you can see what they look like: http://www.google.com/search?q=california+condor+photos&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=C6m&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=s&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=tCQDT5qRDaLdiAKr6LGHDQ&ved=0CDcQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=578

Hope this helps! /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
Under: California condors, Turkey vultures | No Comments »

Save bald eagles: get the lead out!

Bald eagle (Brian Murphy/Walnut Creek, CA)
bald3

The information below is from “Endangered earth Online,” the weekly e-newsletter of the center for Biological Diversity. Please read it. It’s very important … especially to bald and golden eagles, California condors and other birds of prey and wild bird and mammal scavengers … and yes, humans, too. Lead poisoning is nasty business. especially lead poisoning that we humans have the power to end immediately … if we want to. Thanks for caring. /Gary
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Posted on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Under: Bald Eagles, California condors, Lead bullets | No Comments »

Lead poisoning: New bill gets the lead out of California wildlife areas

Condor. Photo by Flickr user IvyMike used under a Creative Commons License
condor1 IvyMike

Just got my July 1, 2010 “Endangered Earth Online,”  my weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity. And as usual, it contains an article (see below) I want to share with you about wildlife and lead poisoning. /Gary

New Bill Gets the Lead Out of California Wildlife Areas
In another victory in the transition to nontoxic ammunition for hunting, the California Assembly has passed a bill banning the use of lead shot in California’s 667,000-acre network of state-owned wildlife-management areas.
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Posted on Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
Under: California condors, California quail, Lead bullets | No Comments »

Lead poisoning could kill celebrated California condor chick

Condor photo by Flickr user IvyMike used under a Creative Commons License.
condor1 IvyMike

Just got “Endangered Earth Online,”  my weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity. And as usual, it contains an article (see below) I need to share with you concerning lead poisoning and California condors.

It’s really sad that lead poisoning is even a problem at all. It’s so easy to fix, you know … just STOP USING LEAD BULLETS! /Gary
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Posted on Friday, June 25th, 2010
Under: California condors, Lead bullets | No Comments »

Lead poisoning kills condors, bald eagles; poisons grizzlies

Condor. Photo by Flickr user IvyMike used under a Creative Commons License
condor1 IvyMike

Here’s a California condor lead poisoning update from the latest weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity. We’ve GOT to get the lead out of the environment! /Gary

From “Endangered Earth Online,” Feb. 25, 2010:
We’re sad to report that three endangered California condors — a female, her yearling chick, and a young male — have died of lead poisoning in northern Arizona.
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Posted on Monday, March 1st, 2010
Under: California condors, Lead bullets | 1 Comment »

California condor: The ongoing battle to save this great bird

Calif. condor cruising over Grand Canyon. Photo by Flickr user IvyMike used under a Creative Commons License.
condor1 IvyMike

The Nov. 20 issue of  Scientific American highlighted the endangered California condor’s extreme danger in the face of lead poisoning, and the work of the Center of Biological Diversity as the organization tries to do something about it.

Although numerous Arizona hunters — about 70 percent — are voluntarily using nonlead bullets to protect the birds (thanks to state incentives and education), lead bullets are still legal within the condor range. Any condor that scavenges carrion shot with just one of these lead bullets can die from lead poisoning — currently the number-one threat to the species, which was brought almost to extinction in the 1980s.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
Under: California condors | No Comments »

California condors: Get the lead (poisoning) out!

California condor by Scott Frier, USFWS
california-condor

From the weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity:

Just weeks after filing court papers to intervene in the Center for Biological Diversity’s lawsuit to stop the shooting of wolves, the National Rifle Association is trying to stop the Center’s lawsuit to save condors from being painfully killed by lead poisoning.
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Posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
Under: California condors | 2 Comments »

Center for Biological Diversity’s Rubber Dodo Award: And the winner is …

Rubber Dodo
rubber_dodo

I found the information below in the latest issue, Oct. 29, of the weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity, /Gary

The Center for Biological Diversity today announced the long-awaited winner of their 2009 Rubber Dodo Award:

** Real-estate bigwig Michael Winer.

As portfolio manager for the giant real-estate firm TAREX, Winer is a main man behind the largest developments in California and Florida, which would destroy tens of thousands of acres of endangered species habitat.

In California, TAREX is leading the Tejon Ranch in building two entire new cities, destroying thousands of acres of federally designated “critical habitat” for the endangered California condor.
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Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Under: California condors, Rubber Dodo Award | 1 Comment »

Condor advocates ask hunters to ditch lead bullets

California condor (USFWS photo)
condor flying

Utah is now considering a program that would encourage hunters to use non-lead ammunition in habitat for the endangered California condor, whose biggest threat is lead poisoning from hunter-shot carcasses.

Arizona already has such a program, complete with vouchers for free non-lead ammo and there’s about a 70-percent compliance rate among the state’s hunters. But the Center for Biological Diversity says that’s not good enough. Utah, Arizona – and better yet, the whole country — should go completely non-lead for the health of condors, golden eagles, other wildlife … and humans, too. The Center says a study has found that about a third of sampled deer burgers consumed by people were tainted with lead.

In 2007, California banned nearly all lead ammo in the state’s condor range. Hopefully, Arizona and Utah will soon follow suit.

Read more about it here in the Salt Lake Tribune: http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13475501?source=rss

Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
Under: California condors | 1 Comment »

Calif. Condors shot: $40,000 reward offered for shooter(s)

Calif. condor photo courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service/Scott Frier
condor flying

Condor Shooting Investigation Goes Public:
“Wanted” Poster Distributed Throughout Central Coast

The Center for Biological Diversity opened a new front today in its campaign to find those responsible for the shooting of two condors earlier this year, distributing wanted posters throughout the central coast region that was home to both of the giant birds.

The poster, printed in both English and Spanish, resembles an Old West wanted poster, with a picture of a condor and the Condor Tip Line toll-free number and e-mail address. The poster also advertises the $40,000 reward that is available for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter or shooters.
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Posted on Friday, May 22nd, 2009
Under: California condors | 1 Comment »