California Condor Makes Comeback but Wind Power Seen as Threat

March 11th, 2021

California Condors have made an inspiring comeback from near extinction, but worries remain about how many will be killed by wind power.

A possible solution… make more birds?

To help compensate for any birds that may be killed by their turbines, wind power company Avangrid Renewables wants to breed California Condors in captivity. If all goes as planned, they will release six 1.5-year-old condors over a three-year-period. Watching these birds grow does seem like a fun job.

It’s a good thing North America’s largest flying birds are roaming the skies again. Just look how handsome they are. santana

Saving California Condors

So, if a wind power company wants to join in with captive breeding — the more the merrier, right? Well, not everyone agrees, but doing something to negate the impact of wind turbines on condors is better than ignoring the problem.

According to a recent New York Times article, conservationists say that wind companies should be forced by the government to do more to prevent the bird deaths. What can be done?

A recent study from Norway found that painting at least one turbine blade black brought about a 70 percent decline in bird deaths. Ars Technica has more on this study. What are your thoughts on wind companies breeding condors?

CA Condor Facts

These condors have a nine-foot or more wingspan, and they can weigh more than 20 pounds. They also live up to 60 years in the wild!

The condors lay only one egg per year, and they aren’t sexually mature until six or seven years old. This slow mo reproduction rate is part of the reason the bird are endangered.

Condors are also face threats from lead ammunition used by hunters. Switching to non-lead bullets can help save these endangered birds.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says there are now about 160 California Condors flying around freely in Central and Southern California. In Arizona and Utah, there are about 80, but the total condor population is 440 birds. That’s only possible because of captive breeding programs.

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