Officials say California condor chick in Zion National Park has likely hatched

ST. GEORGE— Park biologists say the California condors nesting in Zion National Park appear to be caring for a chick, leading them to believe that their egg has successfully hatched.

Park biologists have been monitoring the pair since they first observed their nest on the cliff face of the Minotaur Tower to the north of Angels Landing on April 2.

Read more: Biologists confirm California condor nest in Zion National Park

According to a Facebook post from Zion National Park, biologists have recently observed a change of behavior in the birds, leading them to believe that the egg has hatched.

While incubating an egg, California condors rotate sitting on the nest every three to four days. Recently the condors have been switching almost every day, meaning that the chick is probably around three weeks old, the post states.

California condors perform a nest exchange in Zion National Park, Utah, May 30, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Sidney Burleson and the National Park Service, St. George News

The condors will need to continue to sit in the nest with the chick until it is about a month old, at which point it can begin to thermoregulate its own body temperature and keep itself warm without help from its parents. Once this happens, the chick will become more mobile around the nest site, and biologists will be able to see it for the first time.

This chick is the first offspring of the breeding pair identified as “409” and “523.” The mother, condor 409, can be identified by wing tag 9, and the father, condor 523, by wing tag J3. They were the only breeding pair recorded in the park in 2018, according to National Park Service records.

So far, no condors in Zion have been able to raise a chick to adulthood, according to the park.

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