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Cameras give Oregon Zoo peek inside condors' nest

COURTESY OF THE OREGON ZOO - California condor Timocho watches over her chick at the Oregon Zoo's Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation. The last California condor chick of the season arrived to condor parents Alishaw and female Elewese on June 29 - the latest hatch date since the zoo began breeding the critically endangered birds in 2003.The Oregon Zoo’s longest California condor breeding season ended last week when the fourth and last chick of the year hatched Monday, June 29, at the Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation in rural Clackamas County.

It was more than five months after the season’s first egg was laid on Jan. 27. The newest hatchling’s parents are (male) Alishaw and (female) Elewese.

Other breeding condor pairs this year were Kojjati and No. 295, whose chick hatched March 24; Willie and Timocho, whose chick hatched April 5; and Atishwin and Ojai, whose chick hatched on April 29.

This year, the zoo used GoPro cameras purchased with a grant from the Oregon Zoo Foundation to get an inside-the-nest-box look as condor parents Willie and Timocho raise their chick. To see the video, go to www.bit.ly/CondorNestRoom.

The California condor was one of the original animals included on the 1973 Endangered Species Act and is classified as critically endangered. In 1982, only 22 individuals remained in the wild and by 1987, the last condors were taken into captivity in an attempt to save the species. Thanks to breeding programs like the Oregon Zoo’s, condor numbers now total more than 400, with the majority of those flying free.

The Oregon Zoo’s condor recovery efforts take place at the Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, located in rural Clackamas County on Metro-owned open land. Since 2003, 58 chicks have hatched at the Jonsson Center, and 34 Oregon Zoo-reared birds have gone out to field pens, with most released to the wild. In addition, several eggs laid by Oregon Zoo condors have been placed in wild nests to hatch.

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