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Oregon Zoo welcomes first condor chick of the season

The first condor chick of the season hatched last week at the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation
Kelli Walker, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
The first condor chick of the season hatched last week at the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The first fluffy California condor chick of 2022 hatched last week at the Oregon Zoo's Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, marking the beginning of what looks to be an outstanding year in the effort to save this critically endangered species.

"The new chick is sitting up and making plenty of noise already, which is an excellent sign," said Kelli Walker, who oversees the zoo’s condor recovery efforts. "The parents are being really attentive, and the whole family is doing great."

Since mid-January, condors at the Jonsson Center have been laying the groundwork for species recovery one egg at a time. In addition to the new hatchling, 11 other fertile eggs have been laid this year and more chicks are expected soon. To aid in the zoo's recovery efforts, FLIR visible security cameras are providing improved views into nesting areas, helping staff better monitor the health of chicks and parents.

Visible security cameras from Teledyne FLIR are providing improved views into the nesting areas and 24/7 observation of the condors, helping zoo staff better monitor the health of chicks and parents. 

The California condor was one of the original animals included on the 1973 Endangered Species Act and is classified as critically endangered. In 1982, only 22 individuals remained in the wild and by 1987, the last condors were brought into human care in an attempt to save the species from extinction. Thanks to recovery programs like the Oregon Zoo’s, the world’s California condor population now totals around 500 birds, most of which are flying free.

The Oregon Zoo’s condor recovery efforts take place at the Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, located in rural Clackamas County on Metro-owned open land. The remoteness of the facility minimizes the exposure of young condors to people, increasing the chances for captive-hatched birds to survive and breed in the wild.

Upgrades and new equipment at the center have been made possible through continued support from the Avangrid Foundation and donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation, which supports the zoo’s efforts in advancing animal welfare, conservation and education. To learn more or to make a gift, call 503-220-2493 or email

More than 70 chicks have hatched at the Jonsson Center since 2003, and more than 50 Oregon Zoo-reared birds have gone out to field pens for release. Several eggs laid by Oregon Zoo condors have been placed in wild nests to hatch. 

California condor breeding programs are also operated at San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park, the Los Angeles Zoo and the Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey in Idaho. For more information, visit

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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