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California condor spotted on Medicine Bow Peak

July 13, 2018
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Hikers on Medicine Bow Peak received a surprise when they spotted a juvenile female California condor resting at the summit of the 12,000 foot peak in the Snowy Mountains west of Laramie in early July.

Laramie -

According to its identification tags, the is a young female that was raised at the Oregon Zoo and released to the wild in northern Arizona on March 27 of this year. The bird was last spotted in northeast Utah in late June before showing up at Medicine Bow Peak. Summit hikers were soon spreading the word while bird watchers were documenting their sighting on WyoBirds. The condor was first spotted on Medicine Bow Peak on July 7 and stuck around for about three days before disappearing. 

According to condor experts, it is not uncommon for young birds to travel great distances. Other young condors released in Arizona have shown up in parts of Colorado, Nevada and Utah, and one traveled as far as Los Alamos, New Mexico.

California condors are slowing coming back from the brink of extinction. In 1987, only 22 California condors remained. The remaining birds were captured and a captive breeding program was started. There are now 463 California condors in North America, including 290 in the wild. Condors are most seriously threatened by lead poisoning from ingesting lead ammunition fragments. 

Condor photo courtesy of Andy Kadlec

- WGFD -

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