Egg-citing News for Redwood Queen, Big Sur's Beloved Condor

An camera is keeping watch on Redwood Queen, expectant father Phoenix, and their brand-new egg.

What to Know

  • The announcement was made on March 4, 2021
  • Eyes will be on a possible hatch around the start of May
  • Redwood Queen #190 and Phoenix #477, a new pairing, are the parents

NESTS ACROSS CALIFORNIA... are currently serving as amazing incubators to countless eggs as March begins. Little birds, big birds, and animals that are not birds at all are nesting, preparing, and carefully keeping watch over their soon-to-be growing broods. And each egg that we humans can observe via photographs, eyewitness reports, or nest cams? Call it total excitement for bird buffs and nature mavens alike. But there's one egg that has a lot of emotion surrounding it, due in large part to a wildfire that gravely impacted the wilderness where the egg is located. It's Big Sur, where the Dolan Fire swept through last fall, and the cozy redwood cavity associated with condor eggs was damaged but not felled.

REDWOOD QUEEN AND PHOENIX... are the parents of the newly arrived egg, an exciting development that was announced on March 4, 2021. Adding further emotion to the egg's appearance? Phoenix, set to be a first-time biological father, has a similar story to Redwood Queen's last chick, Iniko, a young bird that weathered the Dolan Fire in 2020. "In 2008, 2-month-old Phoenix survived the gigantic Basin Complex wildfire that scorched the forest surrounding his nest," shared the Ventana Wildlife Society. "The area was so severely burned that there was nothing left but ash for miles. Baby Phoenix survived the disaster as the fire burned halfway up his tree. As a tribute to his trial by fire, #477 was named Phoenix."

MOTHER AND FATHER... will both take part in keeping the egg warm, and condor lovers can watch it all from home courtesy of There's no longer a working camera inside the cavity, due to damage by the Dolan Fire, but a nearby exterior camera is keeping close but respectful tabs on the thrilling process. Condors remain endangered, even as their numbers have grown in recent years. To follow what the large and lovely vultures that make a home around the Golden State's Central Coast are up to, follow the Ventana Wildlife Society.

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