If you tuned into the California Condor cam
this past weekend, you might have noticed the absence of one very important aspect of the cam: the condor nestling! Condors are extremely inquisitive animals, and late in the morning of September 17, the Koford's Ridge nestling decided to explore the steep cliff face right next to the cave where he had spent the last 5 months (watch highlight
.) The slope soon got the better of him, and despite a bout of energetic flapping, the chick slipped out of the cam's view.
A condor nest technician from the Santa Barbara Zoo visited the site that afternoon and reported that the chick was resting comfortably on a rocky outcrop just out of view. Later that day the male adult came and fed the chick off camera, and there have been several visits since. Although it's unlikely that the chick will return to the cave anytime soon, we'll keep the camera
on just in case.
Last Call for the Hellgate Ospreys
This was a bittersweet year for the Hellgate Ospreys after losing their clutch of eggs in a hailstorm only a few days before they would begin hatching (watch Dr. Erick Greene, director of the Montana Osprey Project talk about the storm
). Thankfully the adults Stanley and Iris continued to frequent the nest site, and we were able to enjoy their continued presence for the remainder of the summer. Stan continued to provision Iris with fish, and both adults brought nesting materials to both this nest and a second site that was later dismantled because of fire danger associated with its site atop a light tower (watch highlight of Operation Fishsticks
Now, with fall approaching, it appears that both Stan and Iris have departed on their migration. The last time both were seen together was on September 4 (watch highlight)
, with Iris disappearing soon after. Stan continued to be spotted on camera till the 12th, and is now presumed to have also taken wing to more southerly locales.
The director of the Montana Osprey Project, Dr. Erick Greene, remarked that the pair bond between Stan and Iris seems only to have strengthened during this summer, and they appear to have been in great condition prior to leaving. Both of these observations are good signs that, should they survive their arduous migration, they will return and breed at the Hellgate nest in the coming spring.
A special thanks to the Montana Osprey Project for another great season of learning about the Hellgate pair, and to the volunteers who helped keep everyone up-to-date by posting news to Twitter and operating the camera. See you in the spring!