Condor Cam…Finally!

It’s about time the California condor got its own live animal cam – it seems there’s a cam for every critter worth watching these days so it’s high time the majestic flapper got into the video action.

Launched by the Ventana Wildlife Society that partnered with the Oakland Zoo Federal Express and CamZone, this first ever condor cam is a peek into what the endangered scavengers do best: that is, scavenge. The live video feed at the Big Sur Condor Sanctuary and Release site shows condors using their strong beaks to rip apart flesh from stillborn calves and other dead beastie carcasses. Yes, nature is often not pretty, but always efficient.

Of course, eating isn’t the only activity viewers could catch — camera can be pointed to a nearby rock pool where birds congregate, drink, bask and bath. Condors can get pretty animated when bathing, playing and splashing with each other.

The solar-powered webcam will help scientists track the tagged birds to monitor their feeding, possible medical needs and other behavioral habits. These are precious birds.

At one time condors, the largest flying bird in North America, were plentiful in the skies from British Columbia to Baja. But with the advent of the Europeans, the bird was slowly being taken down with gunshot, poison and fatally colliding with man-made structures. The wake-up call for condors came in 1982, when a mere 22 condors were left in the world. Now captive breeding programs in California, Arizona and Baja California have been successful in upping the bird’s number which in 2012 hovered around 400 flappers with about 180 in captivity.