California Condors in Danger

The California Condor shown here (number F1) is a 16-year-old condor that flies in Arizona near the Grand Canyon. (Photo by Gwen Grace)

Gwen Grace

The California Condors, currently on the endangered species list, are affected by the grave threat from H5N1, avian influenza, which could lead to their extinction. There are only about 561 in total population at all sites. Although magnificent and not pretty, these birds are important to the environment.

Recently, the Desert Rivers Audubon monthly speaker presentation addressed the plight of the condors from Dr. Sephanie Lamb, veterinarian for Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Phoenix.

Some birds ill with the flu were taken to Liberty Wildlife and cared for by Dr. Stephanie Lamb. She said that eight ill condors were brought in, but only four survived and were returned to nature. The other four were added to the numbers of 20 birds that have perished. The bird flu continues to be a problem. She did say that there was a ray of hope! An egg from one of the female birds that passed was able to be cared for and has survived!

There is a chance to see condors without going to the Grand Canyon by visiting Liberty Wildlife at 2600 E. Elwood in Phoenix. There are currently two California Condors that can be seen. Visit for info.

Stay tuned to Desert Rivers Audubon’s next speaker on Oct. 10, at 6:30 p.m., in person at the Gilbert Regional Library at Guadalupe and Greenfield or on Zoom. For Zoom, register on the website,

The Oct. 10 speaker presentation will be “Why AZ Water Policy Security Matters for People and Birds” with Ms. Sam Draper, the policy manager for Southwest Audubon. If there is no water, there will not be birds. What can Arizona birders expect in the future?

Bird Walks Return: Oct. 21 from 8 a.m. to noon. The free family bird walks return at Gilbert Water Ranch, east of the Gilbert Library. Look for the Desert Rivers tent for bird leaders, loaner binoculars, and books on birds. Get involved. If you have any questions, email [email protected].