I was incredibly lucky to be able to observe the California Condor for a small duration of time during my recent visit to the Grand Canyon South Rim in September. The condor is the largest North American land bird with a wing span of nearly 3 metres. It went extinct in the 1980s but thanks to conservation programs- it has been re-introduced into the wild including in the Grand Canyon area- where the birds are marked by their unique number tags on both wings. The one we observed was Number 87.
I had been so obsessed with getting a good spot for capturing the sunset that I first did not even notice the condor sitting at a distance from the rim. As with all birds the condor was just sitting out of the reach of my 300mm lens and so I managed only to get distant shots.
The bird observed the tourists, took its time preening itself and then set off on it’s dinner date looking all proud and majestic. I made a few video clips that I’ve put together so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about. The video quality is quite poor- this is because youtube for some mysterious reason wouldn’t upload my original quicktime format movies correctly and so I had to convert the format using windows movie maker.