Condor Saticoy Update

It’s easy to identify Saticoy: his wing tag is #36.

Saticoy is still here at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, in an off-exhibit area being socialized with a large group of condors. We still have not heard whether or not he will be released to the wild, so we are still considering him a release candidate. Geneticists for the California Condor Recovery Program determine the suitability for release for every condor chick that hatches. They take into consideration the chick’s sex, representation at each release site, and genetic value.

Saticoy’s socialization group consists of three other males who hatched this year: Siyi (pronounced “SEE-yee”), Nechuwa (pronounced “neh-CHOO-wah”), and Sukilamu (pronounced “soo-kee-LA-moo”). He is also living with a 1-year-old female named Ihiy (pronounced “EE-hee”), a 2-year-old female named Asha (pronounced AH-sha), a 5-year-old female named Sinya (SIN-yah), and an 8-year-old adult female named Xananan (pronounced “ha-NA-nan”). Xananan is the boss of the group. Her main job is to show the juveniles how to interact in a group. This “mentoring” job is very important in the social development of the younger birds. Birds that are not well socialized before they are released tend to have low survivorship in the wild.

Saticoy has integrated well into this group. He is very social, perching or roosting with just about anybody. Sometimes we see coalitions form among young birds, resulting in these birds only socializing with a few members of the cohort. Saticoy is comfortable with everybody; he seems to be a very confident and adaptable young condor! At feeding time, he defers to the older, more dominant birds, but still remains competitive enough to eat well at every feeding. Sisquoc and Shatash have done another great job in raising a healthy, strong chick.

Soon, we should receive notice of Saticoy’s release status, whether he will stay in one of the breeding facilities or be sent to one of the release sites in California, Arizona, or Mexico. We’ll let you know as soon we hear!

Next week, I’ll share updates on all of Saticoy’s older siblings. Be sure to check back!

Ron Webb is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Read his previous post, Condor Moving Day.

8 Responses to Condor Saticoy Update

  1. thanks. Saticoy looks magnificent in the blog photo. glad to hear he has adjusted well to his new group and is thriving.

    happy winter holidays.

  2. I have to give a huge THANK-YOU to the Condor Recovery Team. Here’s why. I went from knowing absolutely nothing about California condors to being in awe of these amazing creatures. I always make it a point to stop at the condor exhibit when at the SDZ. One particular female seemed to be very interested in my pink jacket. Can condors see in color? Anyway, thank-you for the update on Saticoy, keep up the good work, and I hope one day to see a wild condor!

    • Condors have keen vision to be able locate food from great distances. They have tetrachromatic vision, which means they can even see ultraviolet colors which we humans cannot.

  3. Thank you for the update, Saticoy looks so strong and healthy, I’m so grateful to hear the good news! He must be so happy with such a large family too.

  4. Hello from Wellington Kansas!
    Thank you for the update of our little friend! I was wondering how he was doing. Thank you for the great job you and your team is doing to keep these wonderful birds for our children to learn about. Have a Blessed day!

  5. Great job, Ron and collaborators. Great job, Saticoy

  6. It’s so wonderful to hear about our big baby boy. Thank you!!

  7. I just got over here after awhile away after getting the message of my favorite condor parents having a new egg. So I had to catch up on how young Saticoy was doing. I’m SO thrilled to read that everything is going so well for him. I’ve missed seeing him every day like I did when we were watching him grow. He looks really good in that blog photo.

    Thank you all SO much for keeping us in touch with him. And soon we will have a new baby to watch. I’m excited!