March 13, 2012
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Flock grows to 73 as two more wild-reared fledglings take to the air above the Grand Canyon
It’s been a good year for Arizona’s condors on the comeback trail. The 73 condors riding updrafts above the Grand Canyon and the Vermillion Cliffs produced three chicks this year — a record for the expensive and complex effort. Two of the chicks successfully fledged and have now joined the mostly captive-bred adults, the largest flying birds in the world nearly exterminated by eggshell-thinning pesticides and other problems. Unhappy biologists found the third condor fledgling dead with a broken wing at the base of his nest in a cave in the face of a cliff in the Grand Canyon. Biologists think the chick fell from its nest before it could fly.