Visited Pinnacles National Park to find one of the rarest birds in the world, the California condor. These birds were declared extinct in the wild in 1987. The Peregrine Fund started breeding them in captivity and released them into the wilds of Arizona, Utah and California. Now their numbers are over 400.
Every one of these condors has a color-coded numbered tag to help researchers keep track of individuals, and each bird has a unique story. This one, Purple606, was born to wild parents, but the egg was taken to the LA zoo where it was hatched on 4/22/11. He was released in 2013, and made the condor biologists' job stress-free by safely perching in a tree and finding food on his first day. He has easily integrated into the flock since then, making regular flights to and from Pinnacles and Big Sur. My first time seeing condors didn't disappoint!