CONDORS-Breeding

We’re listening to the sounds of a California condor. For many years, the California condor was on the verge of extinction, its numbers down to as low as seventeen birds. But these days, there are well over a hundred California condors, thanks to a captive breeding program and a useful discovery about the birds’ egg laying abilities. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

Don Bruning is Chairman and Curator of the Department of Ornithology at the Wildlife Conservation Society.

“The original work on Condors started really here at the Bronx Zoo where we started breeding condors and demonstrating that we could get double and triple clutches of eggs from them. Normally, Condors produce one egg in nature. If that egg gets broken, they may produce a second one. But we determined in captivity that if you take the first egg, they will lay a second egg and if you take the second egg, they will even lay a third egg. By pulling the eggs we can greatly increase production of condors. Of course this immediately means that even for wild birds, you can increase production by going out and taking that first egg, bringing that into captivity, allowing the parents then to hatch and rear that second egg and that was one of the techniques used to get some of the first California condors into captivity.”

This month, California condors will be laying their eggs. We’d like to hear about the cyclical events in nature that you observe. Please call our toll free number, 1-877-PULSE99. That’s toll free, 1-877-PULSE99.

Our thanks to Michael Wallace and the Los Angeles Zoo for the condor recordings.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation.

CONDORS-Breeding

California Condor populations have increased, thanks to a recent discovery about their egg laying habits.
Air Date:02/24/1999
Scientist:
Transcript:

We're listening to the sounds of a California condor. For many years, the California condor was on the verge of extinction, its numbers down to as low as seventeen birds. But these days, there are well over a hundred California condors, thanks to a captive breeding program and a useful discovery about the birds' egg laying abilities. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

Don Bruning is Chairman and Curator of the Department of Ornithology at the Wildlife Conservation Society.

"The original work on Condors started really here at the Bronx Zoo where we started breeding condors and demonstrating that we could get double and triple clutches of eggs from them. Normally, Condors produce one egg in nature. If that egg gets broken, they may produce a second one. But we determined in captivity that if you take the first egg, they will lay a second egg and if you take the second egg, they will even lay a third egg. By pulling the eggs we can greatly increase production of condors. Of course this immediately means that even for wild birds, you can increase production by going out and taking that first egg, bringing that into captivity, allowing the parents then to hatch and rear that second egg and that was one of the techniques used to get some of the first California condors into captivity."

This month, California condors will be laying their eggs. We'd like to hear about the cyclical events in nature that you observe. Please call our toll free number, 1-877-PULSE99. That's toll free, 1-877-PULSE99.

Our thanks to Michael Wallace and the Los Angeles Zoo for the condor recordings.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation.