Spotted: One of 188 Wild California Condors at Grand Canyon

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Camera: Canon 5D | Lens: EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM | Setting: f/4, 1/640, ISO 100
california condor grand canyon

Keep your fingers crossed.  The California condor is emerging, slowly, from the brink of extinction.  There are currently only 384 of these animals known in existence, and of those 188 are in the wild.  Isn't it mind boggling that we know how many are in the wild?  This is one of them. We spotted this beauty at Grand Canyon this weekend.

I try my best to hold back on the proud, exuberant father stuff, but I won't right now. My daughter is merely 3 years old and she can spot this bird in a book or a picture and say, "Dat's a California condor!"  As a matter of fact, a year ago we were visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and went into the bookstore there.  Inside there was a mural with a stuffed condor and she didn't even need me to ask.  She just belted it out in that little room full of tourists, "Wook!  A California condor!" At 2 years old.  That kid is awesome.

If it weren't for the book Phoebe and Chub by Matthew Henry Hall (external link) my household wouldn't know much about the California condor.  That book set me on the path to find out more about this bird. Children's books are a tough segment to navigate sometimes.  There are many great books, but also an excruciating number of really bad ones. Phoebe and Chub is a good one with not just a happy, succinct story, but also fun art that tickles an Arizona lover.

It was cool, for lack of a better phrase, to see this condor out there sunning himself on the world's most fantastic hole in the ground.


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