CONDOR CAM SURPRISE: When one peeks in on the Condor Cam, which one should do regularly, if one adores the magnificent, wide-of-wingspan birds that call the Big Sur region home, one expects to see a few things. Maybe a California condor relaxing -- do condors chill out? -- they kind of do -- or a condor eating or a condor warming his wings or maybe a cameo by another animal in the area, say a golden eagle or deer. But seeing a baby condor pop up, when a baby condor wasn't necessarily expected, is a treat for both those who've made it a mission to care for the critically endangered birds and those who consider themselves big fans. That's just what happened, though. The Ventana Wildlife Society, the organization that leads cares for the condors and condor concerns (as well as leading tours in the area), trumpeted on its Facebook page on Jan. 8: "Mystery Condor discovered on the Condor Cam over the Holidays!" The society goes on to guess that Shadow and Wild 1 -- condors #209 and #231, respectively -- may be the parents as they've been "nesting in a very remote section of the Arroyo Seco drainage in central CA. How exciting that condors are surviving on their own!" Truly and indeed. Want to take part in naming the chick?
FLY THIS WAY, THEN: The society has opened up a survey so that supporters and fans may weigh in. This isn't a pick-one-of-four-choices deal; people are making original suggestions on the Facebook page. Want to join in? Here's where you can suggest a name and here are some of the names already thrown into the ring. Want to join a two-hour condor-viewing tour? This is the branch upon which you should alight, then.