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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> California Condor in my backyard!!!
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05/28/2011 08:42:56 PM · #1
I almost forgot about this. Never posted to DPC...it was sometime last summer. Had my G10 so the zoom was limited. Still got it though!!!

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According to the Wiki article, "As of November 2010 there are 384 individuals living, including 181 in the wild[3] [54] and the rest in the San Diego Wild Animal Park, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Oregon Zoo, and the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho. As of October 2010, the wild condor population in its name state of California reached 100 individuals, and 73 wild condors in Arizona.[49]"

05/28/2011 09:48:19 PM · #2
I thought the condors had triangular patches of white under the wings...
condor in flight

Your flying shot looks more like a turkey vulture:
turkey vulture in flight

(sorry... I could be wrong, though! :)

Message edited by author 2011-05-28 21:56:01.
05/28/2011 09:56:30 PM · #3
I think she's right; I'm very familiar with Condors, and that doesn't look like one. Looks like a turkey vulture to me as well. Here's a Condor I shot at Big Sur in 2008:

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Fun capture, though :-)

R.
05/28/2011 10:05:22 PM · #4
Ughh...Who's the turkey now?
05/28/2011 10:06:18 PM · #5
Originally posted by Carlo21:

Ughh...Who's the turkey now?


My husband? :D
05/28/2011 10:06:32 PM · #6
It's like winning the lotto and going in to cash my winnings and...wrong day! I thought I had a once in a lifetime shot!
05/28/2011 10:07:45 PM · #7
Originally posted by Carlo21:

It's like winning the lotto and going in to cash my winnings and...wrong day! I thought I had a once in a lifetime shot!


You could use photoshop and paint in some white under the wings... :)
05/28/2011 10:10:32 PM · #8
I'm going with a mixed breed. It's a CalTurkia Condor. 1 in existence!
05/28/2011 10:15:34 PM · #9
Originally posted by Carlo21:

I'm going with a mixed breed. It's a CalTurkia Condor. 1 in existence!


Perfect!!
05/28/2011 10:26:48 PM · #10
On a more serious note, one thing's for sure; once you actually SEE a Condor doing its thing landing, perching, taking off, flying you'll never mistake any other bird for one. Those things are freaking IMMENSE. Their wingspan is bigger than your living room sofa. There's nothing else like them. Even from a considerable distance, when they are WAY up there soaring over your head, it's obvious how huge they are. Being around Condors is like encountering a Pterodactyl or something.

R.
05/28/2011 10:32:52 PM · #11
Yes. Turkey Vulture. They used to be a dime a dozen here in Orange County when I was kid. There are a few dozen that hang out near my work.

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_816557.jpg. Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_819073.jpg
05/28/2011 10:35:56 PM · #12
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

On a more serious note, one thing's for sure; once you actually SEE a Condor doing its thing landing, perching, taking off, flying you'll never mistake any other bird for one. Those things are freaking IMMENSE. Their wingspan is bigger than your living room sofa. There's nothing else like them. Even from a considerable distance, when they are WAY up there soaring over your head, it's obvious how huge they are. Being around Condors is like encountering a Pterodactyl or something.

R.


Great description. We had a pair visit in the early 80s. I was probably 11. I felt small.
05/28/2011 10:59:53 PM · #13
Looking at the wing tips I am also inclined to believe that the bird described by the OP is indeed a turkey vulture. They are rather common in this area and a lot of people confuse them with eagles.

Ray
05/29/2011 04:07:04 AM · #14
When I was a teen there were a flock of condors living on Mount Diablo. On a trail ride schooling a green horse I came over a rise at a trot and found a condor with his head in a dead cow in the middle of the trail, his partially folded wings almost covering the cow. In slow motion mode the condor popped his head out of the cow and flapped his wings to take off, the horse went sideways in one big jump, and I landed on my but in the middle of the trail. The condor flew right over me and looked just slightly smaller than a 747 on takeoff. The thing's wingspan was close to ten feet long, much longer than my horse, who was not inclined to be anywhere near this behemoth.

I will never mistake a condor for a vulture. They have a knobbier almost comically ugly head, and their size is just surreal.
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Turkey vultures have a humble six foot wingspan.
05/29/2011 06:00:31 AM · #15
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Looking at the wing tips I am also inclined to believe that the bird described by the OP is indeed a turkey vulture. They are rather common in this area and a lot of people confuse them with eagles.

Ray


Also the bald red head and yellowy beak are very turkey vulture-ish. Still a sizable bird though.
05/29/2011 06:49:59 AM · #16
I'd hope for a cooler name than Turkey Vulture. The vulture part is nice, but it's extremely difficult to be taken seriously when you have "turkey" in your name.
05/29/2011 09:17:19 AM · #17
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

When I was a teen there were a flock of condors living on Mount Diablo. On a trail ride schooling a green horse I came over a rise at a trot and found a condor with his head in a dead cow in the middle of the trail, his partially folded wings almost covering the cow. In slow motion mode the condor popped his head out of the cow and flapped his wings to take off, the horse went sideways in one big jump, and I landed on my but in the middle of the trail. The condor flew right over me and looked just slightly smaller than a 747 on takeoff. The thing's wingspan was close to ten feet long, much longer than my horse, who was not inclined to be anywhere near this behemoth.

I will never mistake a condor for a vulture. They have a knobbier almost comically ugly head, and their size is just surreal.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_190172.jpg
Turkey vultures have a humble six foot wingspan.


Wow, that encounter would have scared the bejeezus out of most of us, let alone a poor little green horse.(For thems of us who aren't horsey people, we're fond of saying that horses are scared of only two things: things that move and things that don't.)

Not only is there something big and smelly in the trail, but it's also dead...and then having a whacking great monstrous bird pop up from the ground and soar overhead at close range...you're so lucky the greenie didn't take off and leave you to hike home!
05/29/2011 10:04:44 AM · #18
I would love to see a California Condor or a Turkey Vulture. I've never seen birds like that in the wild. Holy cow, the descriptions of the Condor is enough to get me on a road trip to find one!
05/29/2011 10:23:56 AM · #19
Red-tailed and Harris hawks cover much of the same range as the Turkey Vulture. One way to distinguish a vulture from a hawk in flight is that the vulture's wings slant up a bit in a shallow "V" shape, while the hawks hold their wings almost perfectly horizontally, with only the feathers at the very tips of the wings curving up slightly.
05/29/2011 10:45:37 AM · #20
The disturbing part of this thread is Bear's admission that he shot a condor. Very sad indeed.
05/29/2011 10:47:40 AM · #21
You would know if a Cal. Condor was in your backyard. They have a 9.5 ft wing span. A Turkey Vultures is only 5 feet long. They are huge. I saw three on Mt, Pinos, n. of L.A. back in 1973, my first impression was they looked like small airplanes.
05/29/2011 10:49:03 AM · #22
Originally posted by chazoe:

The disturbing part of this thread is Bear's admission that he shot a condor. Very sad indeed.

I'm more disturbed that I was visiting him around the time of that trip and I missed it ... :-(
05/29/2011 10:50:00 AM · #23
Originally posted by nGallahan:

I would love to see a California Condor or a Turkey Vulture. I've never seen birds like that in the wild. Holy cow, the descriptions of the Condor is enough to get me on a road trip to find one!


I'm surprised you don't have Turkey Vultures in your area... the Black Hills are a perfect environment for them. Here in Wisconsin, we used to have to travel to the bluffs along the Mississippi to see them with any regularity, but in recent years they have "invaded" the southern half of the state.
A couple years ago several vultures took up residence on the roof of a local hospital. They'd sit on the ledge overhanging the doors, or sit on ledges outside rooms and peer in, LOL. I'm sure the humor wasn't lost on the patients!
05/29/2011 11:16:47 AM · #24
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by chazoe:

The disturbing part of this thread is Bear's admission that he shot a condor. Very sad indeed.

I'm more disturbed that I was visiting him around the time of that trip and I missed it ... :-(


Did you eat the "chicken"?
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