Monday, September 16, 2002

Atascadero Condors

Hi all,
In response to Roger’s great condor email…….First of all, I must say
I’m very jealous, I’ve spent most of the last few afternoons tracking
Ventana condors Y-190, Or-212, and Or-209 from the Hi Mt. Lookout. They
were among several birds that I’ve had very strong and broad (indicating
close proximity) signals for during the past weeks. Several Ventana
birds seem to spread out over Shandon and Creston almost daily, yet
there have been frequent, strong and consistent signals lately along the
Santa Lucias. Or- 212 has been one of the mot frequent visitors to the
Pozo/Machesna area, yet I have not been able to spot her. Y-190 has also
been spending a bit of time south of Big Sur lately and he is one of the
birds I get signals for almost daily from the Lookout.
Roger’s posting is especially of interest because it helps me guage
signal strength from Hi Mt. It is rare that i am able to triangulate
with other condor trackers in north county, but nice visual confirmation
is even better. I had signals for these three birds for several hours
this afternoon, yet, from where I sit, they could’ve been anywhere
between Santa Margarita and Paso Robles, or as far east as Shandon.
I am curious if anyone also saw a yellow tagged bird with the numbers 94
anywhere in the vicinity. By my signals, she should’ve been right there
with the other three. Y-194 has also been spending some quality time in
SLO lately. On saturday, she spent the afternoon soaring between the
Cuesta Grade and the La Panza Mtns. I got some good looks at her as she
dwarfed dozens of TVs while working updrafts just off the Pozo summit.
She spent the night somewhere on Black Mt, I believe, and I had strong
signals from her through the night and into the next day.
The amount of condor sightings in recent months are both encouraging and
worrysome to me. I’ve heard more than a few stories this summer of
condors perched by HWY 1 surrounded by throngs of curious tourists and
those pesky birder types. I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve been told
that the best thing we humans can do when in the company of condors is
scare them off. Yell, scream, honk, and wave your arms around. That is,
after you’ve written down the tag numbers and had a nice long look at
these magnificent creatures.
Thanks again Roger, Kathy, and everyone else out there watching out for
these birds. PLEASE give me a call next time!
Paul Andreano