Prey-go-neesh in the Redwoods

a condor with a pink/red head and black body on brown grass

NPS / Gavin Emmons

Since March 2022 when the first co-hort of condors was brought into their release pen, these birds have been capturing the world's attention. Through Northern California Condor Restoration Program social media, condor webcams, and news articles; this restoration program - and each bird - has become a bit of a legend.

Here, you will find some of the specifics about each of the birds and learn about some of their personalities. Additionally you can find more information at the Yurok Condor Restoration Program, at the Redwood Condor Homepage or the NPS condor website.
Two California condors open their wings inside a release pen.
Condors of the first cohort get used to the release site.

Yurok Tribe Photo / Matt Mais

The First Cohort: A Teacher and Students

On March 25th 2022, the first four condors arrived onsite. There was an older male and two young males wingtag A2 and wingtag A3, and a young female wingtag A0. The fourth and final young condor of the cohort wingtag A1, arrived later. The young condors are between two and four years old.

The older / mentor bird wingtag #746 was hatched in 2014. His name Paaytoqin means "Come back" in Nez Perce language. He will not be released to fly free. He will serve as mentor and teacher to all the young condors that come through the release site.

A condor with wing tag # spreads it wings. Redwood trees are in the background.
Condor #A2 enjoys the sun...and some redwood trees.

Yurok Wildlife Department

The First Four To Fly

On May 3rd 2022, after almost two months of getting used to their release pens, condor A3 Poy'-we-son "The one who goes ahead" took the lead - and flew first.

Less than a minute later, condor A2 Nes-kwe-chokw' "He returns / he arrives" took his first flight.

On May 25th, A0 Ney-gem' 'Ne-chween-kah "She carries our prayers" took her first flight.

A1 followed on July 14th with his first flight. A1 is called Hlow Hoo-let which means "At last I (or we) fly"!

Five condors sit inside a release pen, three stand on top if it - on the outside.
By October, the condor release pen is looking busy.

Yurok Wildlife Department

Four More Arrivals - and eager to fly.

On August 16th 2022, four more birds were delivered to the release site. It takes several weeks for the condors to get used to their new home. During this time they learn habits and behavior from the mentor bird Paaytoqin wingtag #746 that stays in the release pen.

A4 was the first in this group to fly on October 11th, and he is described by Yurok Wildlife Department Director Tiana Williams-Clauson as "a confiident young bird". A4 has recieved the name Cher-perhl So-nee-ne-pek. This means "I feel strong".

Another condor in this cohort is A5 which has recieved the name Neee'n which means the "Watcher". He took a little bit longer to be ready, but he also took flight on October 11th.

A6 has definitely been one of the more reserved birds, even timid, and least dominant. He has been given the name Me-new-kwek which means "I'm bashful’ or ‘I'm shy". He was released on November 16th.

A7 has recieved the name He-we-chek' which means "I am healthy / I get well". She is the second female in the whole group and she took her first flight on November 9th.


Last updated: November 23, 2022

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