A7 Makes Seven Condors Flying Free on the North Coast (with Video)


A7, (right), a young female that recently recovered from minor surgery, took her first fight into the wild Nov. 9. - MATT MAIS/THE YUROK TRIBE
  • Matt Mais/The Yurok Tribe
  • A7, (right), a young female that recently recovered from minor surgery, took her first fight into the wild Nov. 9.
Another California condor is now flying free on the North Coast.

A7 left the Northern California Condor Restoration Program enclosure just before 2:30 p.m. today, becoming the second female in the local flock. A6, a young male, had also been set for release but he was "dawdling a bit," according to the NCCRP team, and another attempt to get him "out the door" will take place Thursday, starting at 7:30 a.m.

"The quick update is that A7 is flying extremely well. The team is out following her as we speak to assure that she finds a good, safe roost to overnight in tonight," the NCCRP team said in an afternoon post on the Yurok Condor Live Stream Feed page. "She has already landed and taken off from several trees, so we are all feeling pretty good about her instincts."

Yurok Wildlife Department Director Tiana Williams-Claussen announced that A7 has received the Yurok name He-we-chek', which she said means, "I am healthy" or "I get well."

"Ever since she joined us, she's proven herself to be robust and healthy, stepping forward as a dominant bird, gaining weight quickly, and showing every sign of taking whatever the world throws at her in stride," Williams-Claussen said in a Yurok Tribe Facebook page post. "Point in case, despite the discomfort of having a bone chip from one of her meals get embedded in her mandible, she never faltered and maintained herself well. She also has the somewhat dubious honor of being the first to need medical treatment, provided thanks to our friends at the Oakland and Sequoia Park Zoos, with support from Yurok and Redwood National Park staff. She bounced right back, ready to fly."

A6 and A7 are the last of the four in a second cohort of condors that arrived in mid-August. A7 recently returned from the Oakland Zoo after recovering from minor surgery by vets there to remove the embedded bone fragment that caused an infection in her jaw.
  • Sequoia Park Zoo Facebook page
  • A7 at the Oakland Zoo.
A7 joins four others — Ney-gem' 'Ne-chween-kah (She carries our prayers, A0), Hlow Hoo-let (Finally, I/we fly, A1), Nes-kwe-chokw' (He returns/arrives, A2) and Poy'-we-son (The one who goes ahead, “leader,” A3) — that took their historic flights in May and July, becoming the first of the massive birds with a nearly 10-foot wingspan to do so locally in more than a century — as well as Cher-perhl So-nee-ne-pek' (I feel strong, A4); and Neee'n (Watcher, A5) that were released last month.

A6's release attempt can be viewed live on the Yurok condor cam, which can be found here: https://www.yuroktribe.org/yurok-condor-live-feed.

The NCCRP, a partnership between the Yurok Tribe and Redwood National and State Parks, plans to reintroduce one cohort of prey-go-neesh every year for at least the next two decades, with the goal of spreading the endangered species up into the Pacific Northwest.

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