Condor Day in the Kern River Valley
The Kern River Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest, the California Audubon, Kern River Preserve and Friends of the Condor Wild and Free are hosting joint events Saturday to inform and educate the public about these magnificent birds and some of the challenges they face in sharing their habitats with humans.
The return of captive bred and wild condors to their coastal and southern California habitats began in 1992. Since then, condors have made forays into the southern Sierra but have returned to their respective coastal and southern California habitats after brief visits. Due to the success of the recovery program the captive and wild population has swelled from only 22 condors known to exist in 1987 to 410 animals.
This recovering population consists of both captive breeding populations in several zoos and several populations of released birds. The released and wild-born birds include populations in Baja Calif., Arizona, Southern California and the California coastal range from Ventura up to the Pinnacles National Monument.
Condors continue to make forays in to the Southern Sierra including overflights of old roost sites on the Sequoia National Forest, Wofford Heights and Lake Isabella. It is expected that they will increase their presence over the Southern Sierra in the next few years.
From 8 a.m. to noon officials will host a Fall Color Hike to Red-tail Hawk Point at Audubon’s Kern River Preserve. People will be able to see migrating birds and fall colors along the South Fork Kern River. Biologists will lead the walk to talk about condors and other wildlife.
Those wishing to attend can meet at Sprague Ranch House at 7901 Fay Ranch Road, Weldon. For more information, contact Reed Tollefson at (760) 378-2531 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, from noon to 1 p.m., there will be a picnic at Sprague Ranch House on the Kern River Preserve.
At 2 p.m., there will be a condor presentation at the USFS office at Kernville: Friends of the Condor past-president Vince Gerwe will give a presentation on condor biology, management and conservation issues including how lead ammunition harms and kills condors, eagles and other wildlife and what we can do to help.
The Kernville Ranger Station is at 105 Whitney Road (corner of Burlando and Whitney, one block north of Kernville Road). For information, contact Steve Anderson at (760) 376-3781, ext. 680.