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California Condor Profiles and LIfe Histories
Condor #477 "Phoenix"
Sex: Male Hatch Location & Date: Big Sur, 4/22/2008 Release Date: ? Parents:  #199 and #231 Local Biological Siblings: None Breeding Status: Unpaired Offspring: None
Phoenix was the best surprise we ever had! We knew that his parents, Condor #199 and Condor #231, were spending a lot of time in the remote Big Sur backcountry, but we were unable to confirm that an egg had been laid for many months. #199 and #231 did an awesome job and chose a pristine nest site in one of Big Sur's unique redwood nests. We entered the nest precisely once: a biologist peered into the nest cavity and was surprised to find a half-grown chick! That makes Phoenix a part of the first nest in Big Sur where his biological parents raised their own egg, rather than fostering a replacement egg from a zoo. In the years to come, we hope this "hands off" approach can be used for all of our nests. As our flock demonstrates more life skills, we will be intervening less and less until the condor flock size grows and allows them to reproduce independently.

In June of 2008, the gigantic Basin Complex wildfire scorched the forest surrounding the nest so severely that there was nothing left but ash for miles. The grove of trees that #199 and #231's nest was in burned about halfway up, but the crowns were not damaged. Phoenix survived and his nickname was inspired by his trial by fire and also because of the hope his parents instigated by raising their first chick so perfectly. 477's epic story of survival is detailed in this
video.

More photos of Phoenix