The California condor population is slowly rebounding after its deadliest year yet

In the mountains above Fillmore, a 5-month-old condor is the only wild chick to survive in southern California flocks this season.

The nest cam captured the first moments after hatching and months of a young condor exploring its cliff-side nest, giving the public a front-row seat to a critically endangered species.

“When you feel a connection with a species, it’s much easier to care for it,” said condor biologist Arianna Punzalan.

Punzalan, a biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Ventura County, had 11 sets of condors nest on steep cliffs or tall trees in Southern California this spring, but only one chick reached the four-month mark.

This slow reproductive rate makes critically endangered birds more vulnerable to population crashes.

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