California Condors, San Simeon Creek Road

Liam&Kilian Hampl <thomshe@...>

Sorry for the delay, we were reminded this would be helpful to post here. After seeing Annie Lamas' and Seth Ontiveros' posts of Condors on Rocky Butte Truck Trail (off San Simeon Creek Road) on Feb 11, we headed up yesterday to see if we could refind them. At about 10:20 am, a short ways after the paved road went to dirt in an open viewing area, we spotted 2 condors in flight with Turkey Vultures. We continued following them up the road and saw 3 additional Condors join them (total of 5 at seen all at once). They were circling and we were able to get several pictures including the wing tags. We continued to follow them up the road until it was gated off (closed) and we couldn't continue further. Here are our pictures and the info we found on the two condors wing tags we were able to identfiy on We made out clips 8 and 11.

Adult Male
Nickname: "Big Gulp"
Flock: Big Sur
Hatched: May 20, 2013
Age: 7 Years 8 Months
Hatch Location: World Center for Birds of Prey
Release Date: October 14, 2015 (San Simeon)
Father: Number 47
Mother: Number 51
Currently Paired With: Numbers 566 and 725
Foster Offspring: Number 1004
Biological Siblings: Numbers 150, 165, 182, 191, 203, 210, 224, 227, 235, 243, 257, 280, 282, 297, 309, 319, 339, 349, 354, 378, 448, 478, 518, 572, 621, 668, 748, 780, 836, 874, 890, 940, 951, 990

Full Bio: This bird stood out in his pre-release cohort because of his entertaining feeding style. Big Gulp enjoys eating large bites of partially defrosted food, often gulping down slushy bits of meat. He is 24/7 entertainment- Oh thank heaven for 711!! Starting from the time he was released in 2015 he formed a very close friendship with resident dominant male, 566. You rarely saw one without the other, and they often cuddled and preened together. In 2019 they joined forces and paired with Pinnacles Condor #725 to form a nesting trio. They are currently raising their first chick, #1003.

Adult Female
Nickname: "Solo"
Flock: Big Sur
Hatched: May 14, 1999
Age: 21 Years and 8 Months
Hatch Location: Los Angeles Zoo
Release Date: March 4, 2000
Father: Number 1
Mother: Number 43
Biological Offspring: 431, 530, 606, 729
Foster Offspring: 429, 621, 665
Biological Siblings: 90, 91, 140, 141, 157, 166, 202, 217, 268, 284, 290, 307, 351, 357, 373, 397, 418, 429, 470, 492, 521, 537, 565, 623, 638, 642, 652, 684, 709, 725, 727, 772, 791, 805, 815, 852, 985

Full Bio: Solo has been an explorer her entire life. She knows the Big Sur backcountry and coastline intimately and preferred to roam these remote places alone until she matured and paired with Condor #168. Her preference for isolated areas has meant that Solo can be difficult to track and that she spends a lot of time in hunting territory, which puts her in danger of feeding on carcasses killed with lead bullets. In November 2005, Solo suffered severe lead poisoning and was transferred to the Los Angeles Zoo for chelation treatment. Her life was saved thanks to intensive treatment by the highly qualified zoo staff.
‚ÄčIn 2006, Solo paired with #168 and they spend most of their time together, even when they don't have a chick relying on their care. This couple appears to us to have the happiest "marriage" of any of our paired birds. The one tiny tension in their partnership is that Solo prefers the backcountry east of the Santa Lucia Mountains, while #168 prefers the coast south of Big Sur. In 2007, they became the first pair to lay a fertile condor egg in the wild in Monterey County in over a century (this was #431, who was deemed genetically irreplaceable and transferred to the Los Angeles Zoo). After several nesting attempts, Solo and #168 fostered Condor #665 in 2012 and, as expected, were spectacular parents!

Liam and Kilian Hampl,
Arroyo Grande