Condor Chick Receives Name!

Six-year-old condor lover Hend with her condor plush, Sophie

We were blown away by the amount of thoughtful name submissions we got on Facebook and Twitter for the California condor chick growing before our eyes on Condor Cam. We were also surprised by the outpouring of support we got for our conservation efforts. Some participants even shared touching stories about condors and why it’s so important to save them from extinction. One such story was from Emma Apple, the person who suggested the winning name.

When Emma posted her name suggestion, Saticoy, she mentioned that her six-year-old daughter, Hend, is a huge condor lover. “She teaches everyone she meets about their plight,” Emma wrote, “She wants to be a ‘Condor Rescuer’ when she grows up.”

It’s not every day that we hear of a six-year-old with such an infatuation for an animal that isn’t typically thought of as cute and cuddly, so we had to know more. “People are always surprised at this little girl’s passion for these (oft perceived as) ugly [birds],” Emma wrote. “Ever since learning of their plight in a documentary about the Grand Canyon a couple of years ago, she’s just been completely enamored by them. I think she’s the coolest. How many pink-loving, 6-year-old condor fanatics are there?”

We agree. Hend is the coolest. When asked why she thinks it’s important to save animals from extinction, Hend replied “Because…if there was an important species that’s endangered and they were extinct, we wouldn’t get the things that they give us.” Well said. When Emma told Hend that her name suggestion was the winner, Hend apparently shouted “This is one more step to being a Condor Rescuer!” and continued to release her plush condor named Sophie (after Sophie Osborn, who wrote a book about condors) “back into the wild” all evening. We were told that her condor plush has died of lead poisoning, been nursed back to health and been released back into the wild many times, so the one that comes as a prize will be in good hands.

Hend’s love for saving these beautiful birds gives us hope for the future. If every kid her age shared just a fraction of her passion, we would be in good hands.

Thanks for posting your name suggestions and voting for our condor chick’s name. We’re impressed that so many of you are inspired by these beautiful creatures, just like Hend. Stay tuned to Condor Cam to watch little Saticoy grow up!

See post Chick Watching: 1 to 3 Weeks.

Matt Steele is the social media planner for San Diego Zoo Global. Read his previous post, Rhino Poaching Increases at Alarming Rate in 2011.

51 Responses to Condor Chick Receives Name!

  1. Nice story!

  2. Congratulations to Emma and Hend!!! This is just the absolute coolest story and so inspiring! I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed being a part of all of this and seeing Sisquok, Shatash and SATICOY – what a beautiful family! I learned first hand that “a family is a family” – no matter what kind! The condor is truly the most amazing bird on planet Earth! I have a whole new respect for the wonderful people who spend their lives saving Earth’s creatures! Thank you!

  3. SATICOY……..excellent choice! I’m sure all the cam viewers feel an even closer bond with the chick now that we can call he/she by name.

  4. I was wondering how many other condor parents are hatching/raising chicks besides those that are as being puppet raised ?

    • We have four chicks being raised by parents. No chicks are being puppet raised this year.

  5. Do the other condors have access to the nest?

    Moderator’s note: No, just the parents.

  6. Little Saticoy is looking plump and peaceful this morning. I hope he or she will live a very long and fruitful life. Thank you for your efforts to save these birds.

  7. Will Saticoy’s feathers grow on his bare chest? How often does he/she get fed in a day? When will he start to fly?

    Condor Team responds: There is a portion of the chest that remains featherless. The chick feeds several times a day, but that changes as the chick gets older and can handle more food at once. The chick will take its first flight at 5 to 6 months old, but you may see it start to do hops in the nest as it begins to develop its flight muscles.

    • Thanks for the answers. As far as Saticoy’s chest-I haven’t noticed a bare spot on the other condors, do the other feathers hide it? I’ve seen Saticoy at the entrance hopping a little, wondering what that opening his mom and dad come thru is. Will we be able to see where the yard that the parents are in and where he/she goes when flying out of the nest?

      Moderator’s note: Yes, our Condor Cam operators will be able to switch camera views, depending upon where the action is.

  8. I don’t see the chick today. Is he in another place right now? Is the cameraman there?

    Moderator’s note: The chick is still in the nest box.


    Condor Team responds: We let the parents take care of all duties related to the chick, including keeping a tidy nest. Sisquoc and Shatash do a very good job of this, so we just keep an eye on the happenings of the nest.

  10. Does how much measure the nest box? To what height is it?

    Moderator’s note: The nest box is about 8 x 8 x 8 ft.

  11. Love you, Hend and Emma!

  12. Have you determined the chicks sex yet?

    It’s so darn cute flapping it’s wings, I just love watching him/her.

    Moderator’s note: Not yet

  13. I’ve been watching since the egg started hatching. Thank you so very much for the live cam. I always thought condors were ugly but now I think they’re adorable. I’ve really grown attached to them. Thanks again!

  14. I agree with Connie. I used to think that condors were ugly creatures but I now think that they are quite attrative. Saticoy is just the cutest baby. The other day I observed him gazing up at the opening where his parents go in and out. Saticoy frantically flapped his little wings trying to get up there. He has the right idea but will need to grow up a lot before that’s possible. The parents are just the best, loving their little chick so much, caring for him so gently. What a wonderful family!

    Little Hend gives us a lot of hope for the future of California condors. Her generation will make sure that they flourish again.

    The condor live cam gives us the opportunity to love and understand these magnificent birds. Thank you!

  15. Saticoy is just so amazing!!!! Thank you so much for the oportunity to watch Saticoy grow. I was inspired to make a ceramic baby Saticoy chick. It is almost finished. Next will be Sisquoc and Shatash!!

  16. Moderator: why doesnt the parents spend much time with the baby anymore?

    • As the baby gets older, it is able to regulate its own temperature and is eating less frequently. It does not need all that heat from the parents, and it would get quite uncomfortable for the parents and chick as it continues to grow. Even though you might not see the parents on camera, you can be assured they are nearby, making sure their little baby is safe and sound.

  17. poor baby Saticoy needs education help from her parents on how to go to sleep. She seems to have challenges where to put her head/neck vs body. Very cute.

  18. Upsssssssss. What’s up today with the cam?

  19. I’m enjoying watching the family, but what is going on today with the camera? Looks like it was attacked.

  20. It has been fantastic watching Saticoy progress these past few weeks. Thanks so much for allowing us to share in his/her progress under the care of Sisquok and Shatash! it is truly fascinating.

  21. We keep the Condor Cam on all day at Verkamp’s Visitor Center at Grand Canyon National Park. It’s a huge hit with our park visitors and a great opportunity to educate our guests about the captive breeding programs which have raised so many of the majestic condors that soar over the Grand Canyon…and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that Saticoy will someday join them!
    Terry Lyons
    Sales Associate, Grand Canyon Association

    Moderator’s note: Thanks for sharing!

  22. Do the parents and chick all sleep together at night ?

    • Not necessarily all at once. When the chick is very young, at least one of the parents sleeps with the chick at all times, as it is critical to keep the chick warm. The other parent may choose to sleep in the box nearby or just outside. At around a month of age, the chick may be left by itself in the box at night, but the parents are close by, just outside.

  23. Baby is getting harder and harder to see, its coloring is turning the same shade as the nest box! :)

  24. What’s up with the camera? Its been fuzzy and grainy all day :(

  25. Camera is all better now, ty :)

  26. How big is Saticoy now? It’s hard to tell with nothing to compare him to in the nest box. Is he a grapefruit, a bowling ball, or somewhere in between? Thanks for the great show!

    • Saticoy weighs between 3.5 and 4 lbs. Probably a bit bigger than a bowling ball.

      • Thank you! We check on “our” baby every day at work : )

  27. I posted this on the other part of the blog and got no response… I assume you are only checking the Condor Chick Receives Name post, so I am posting it again:
    Saticoy’s birthday was this week and you said “The chick will have its first physical at one month old. We’ll be able to determine its gender at that time.” We are excited to hear about details. Will you do periodic exams so we can graph his/her weight???
    ~ Students studying Saticoy and sitting suspensefully in Spokane

    Condor Team responds: The chick will be getting its first exam soon. For parent-raised condors, we wait until the chick is 45 days old. At that time we will take a small blood sample for veterinary purposes and to determine its sex. We won’t know that same day, but we should know shortly thereafter and we will, of course, let you know!

  28. Thank ya’ll (that’s Southern for you all), for doing what you do. This Condor Cam is a GREAT thing; seeing SATICOY hatch and being raised is so fascinating and EDUCATIONAL to our children. Thanks again!


  29. Amazing…I never took any interest in these birds untill now. Everyone at the park is doing such an excellent job.
    I cant wait to visit Safari Park again…Thanks!

  30. WOW, the screen shot opportunities of Saticoy today have been incredible! I love the sleeping “spread condor” positions.

  31. Is the baby ok? The baby looks like it can’t get up.

    Moderator’s note: The chick is fine :-)


    Moderator’s note: At 5 to 6 months of age.

  33. I assume that little Saticoy will be getting a checkup soon. Will you be posting some good high resolution pics and a detailed update when this happens? Also…how will the parents react when you do this?

    • We will do our best to get images, but these exams happen very, very quickly in order to reduce the time that the chick is away from the nest and to try to minimize a reaction from the parents. How will the parents react? We hope we will be stealthy enough that they don’t notice if they are both outdoors at the time, but if they do get concerned about the “missing” chick, the exam will be cut short to reunite the family.

  34. I love watching the chick walk and flap its wings…

  35. Does the chick have any older brothers or sisters?

    Moderator’s note: Yes. Sisquoc and Shatash have been paired together since 1993. This is their 21st egg. Fifteen chicks have hatched, and Sisquoc and Shatash have raised six of them themselves. The other chicks were raised by keepers who used a condor puppet so the chicks wouldn’t imprint on their human caretakers. You can read more about Sisquoc and Shatash in the post Condor Cam: The Proud Parents.

  36. If the chick was in distress, would the condor team step in? If so at what point would that be determined?

  37. Do condors have predators (other than humans)?

    • Yes. Condors live in areas where mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes live. Although condors spend most of their time in the trees away from such predators, these animals can kill condors if the birds are not careful when they’re on the ground.

      • Thanks for your response, Condor Team!

  38. I love watching Saticoy…I check his/her progress in the a.m. and the p.m…thank you to the ‘chick’ team.

  39. Im concerned, the chick looks like his face is all scratched up….WHAT HAPPENED???

    • There are no scratches on the chick’s face. Must have been bits of its delicious meal!

      • Thank you for replying so quickly, I feel better now. He/she is so precious.

  40. I love watching the chick try out it’s legs and feet….a bit wobbly at times and sometimes they just seem to get away from him/her! Very cute to watch! Thanks for sharing these moments!