California Condor Cam Goes Live

Watch North America's largest bird

About 25 California condors—a species with an average wingspan of nine to ten feet, according to National Geographic—were seen on the live videocam during testing over the weekend.     Photo: George Lamson/Shutterstock

Bird watching just got a lot easier. The endangered California condor, a rare bird to spot since there are only 429 left, is going viral thanks to a strategically placed videocam streaming live since Monday at www.ventanaws.org.

"We put the camera right on top of one of the main feeding areas so we could zoom down and get identification of each individual," says Kelly Sorenson, executive director of the Ventana Wildlife Society, a nonprofit that works to save condors from extinction.

The solar-powered cam lets the public observe these enormous, slightly macabre birds, which are most active in the morning. Scientists will use it to monitor how the condors feed or whether any show symptoms of poisioning from eating dead animals with lead bullet fragments in them, reports San Jose Mercury News.

Several times a week, Ventana biologists will put out stillborn calves on the 240-acre site—meriting the disclaimer "Viewer discretion advised,"—and today at noon, biologists will release three condors on camera that were raised in captivity.

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