Pinnacles National Park: California Condors

On another non-diving day in Monterey, we took a short trip to Pinnacles National Park. We didn’t have a ton of time, so I suggested we hike the Balconies Cliffs and Cave Trail which was a rather cool trail with a nice section through some caves which was very nice, but the highlight was the confirmed six different (and possibly up to 8) California Condors we got to see flying overhead and landing at their evening roosting spots. Considering there are only a little over 300 in the wild, getting to see six of them was a treat… and considering in 1987 there was only 27 remaining in the world (they captured all remaining individuals they could find to protect them and rehabilitate the species), it is nice that we were able to see any at all! Some of the photos are clear enough that you can make out their ID tags on their wings which is cool too (you might have to click on the photo to view the larger version – and you can click on them again there to zoom in a bit)!

Oh – and I include a photo at the end that shows a couple turkey vultures so you can see how they can be identified from the ground – the light colored areas on their wings are in different places and the number of “fingers” at the end of their wings is different.

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