Last night we were outside and noticed giant birds in the sky and also in our trees...about 6 or 8 of them all with ugly red heads. Once we were able to get a closer look at them we realized that they were California Condors-- giant, amazing birds!! So ugly that they are actually beautiful! And endangered. I did a little research and found that there are only about 90 of them living in the wild in California.
What an honor to have them here, perched atop our huge Eucalyptus trees. We were absolutely amazed at their size and how when they landed in the trees, they would just sort of throw themselves into the branches with their wings open, then settle and gather their wings up.
Since there were quite a few of them last night and 4 of them were still lingering this morning, and since I know that they are endangered, I decided it might be a good idea to call California Fish and Game. So I made a call this morning and explained the situation. The gal I spoke with was super excited. She said it was very unusual and it would be the talk of the office for the day. She then explained she was a marine specialist, but she would have a bird specialist call me back. So, I head out to take the dogs for a walk and await a call back...I'm thinking maybe I should call the local paper, I mean, this is big news right? There are Condors in my backyard!! People need to know that if they see them they should not disturb them, yes?
I received the call from one of the bird biologists who had a few questions, like" do they have tags on them?" Well I don't know, where would the tag be? Would I be able to see the tag if they were sitting in a tree? I apparently could not get close enough to see if there were tags on them....I mean they are Condors...endangered... helllooo lady....need to leave them alone. Although I did sneak around our hill trying to find a good angle to snap a quick photo and managed one or two, I was really trying to be a bit incognito. So she said try to scope them out with binoculars and if I find a tag to call her back. She then said due to the fact that there were 6 or 8 of them, she thought they might be Turkey Vultures, they look very similar to Condors but travel in groups and are more common in our area. I asked if they have the same white on their bodies as Condors and she said yes.
Ummmmm, excuse me? Turkey Vultures...and I was about to call the local paper? No ma'am. I am not the turkey vulture type. Bird of a feather stick together and I am more of an endangered California Condor type.
Funny enough, they all flew off so I never did get to check for tags......but I'm sure they were there ;)