The Next Chapter in the Adventures of Saticoy

California condor chick, Saticoy, as seen on Condor Cam in April, 2012.

California condor chick, Saticoy, as seen on Condor Cam in April 2012.

Our Condor Cam superstar from last season, Saticoy, is heading out into the wild blue yonder! We have recently received notification from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that Saticoy will be released to the wild in California.

For those that are new to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Condor Cam, Saticoy is one of our California condor chicks who hatched here last season and is the sibling of this year’s Condor Cam chick. He actually hatched live online on the morning of March 10, 2012. Thousands of lucky viewers logged on to experience this one-of-a-kind event. Here at the Safari Park, we have been video-monitoring our condor nests for over 20 years, but 2012 marked the first time that a condor nest was available for viewing by the public. The parents (father Sisquoc and mother Shatash) did an amazing job of feeding and caring for Saticoy as he hatched and grew under the watchful and admiring eyes of all of his fans. When he hatched, he weighed around 180 grams and had a wingspan of only about 5 inches. Now, at 1 year of age, he weighs nearly 8 kilograms and sports a 9 1/2-foot wingspan!

Saticoy and two of our other youngsters, Nechuwa and Sukilamu, had their pre-shipment examinations on April 2. Our veterinarian staff gave them all health exams and took blood samples, making sure that they are free from disease before they are released to the wild condor population. They will be transported on April 11 to the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge in the Los Padres National Forest of southern California. There, they will receive new wing tags, wing transmitters  (so the field biologists can track them), and be socialized with another group of condors before they are finally allowed to fly free. The release date has not been set yet. It could be any time from late summer to mid-winter. We’ll try to keep you up to date on release location and date as we get notice.

With any luck, Saticoy will thrive in the wild and use the experience he gained from his parents, Sisquoc and Shatash, and his release mentor and cohort here at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. As you stay tuned for more in the adventures of Saticoy, enjoy watching his younger sibling grow up on Condor Cam, and remember to vote for a name for this chick by April 15!

Ron Webb is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

7 Responses to The Next Chapter in the Adventures of Saticoy

  1. Hi, condor staff! What a joy to have the baby, mom and pop back for our viewing! I was checking periodically in anticipation of their return.

  2. Thank you so much for keeping us updated with Saticoy!! I am ever so happy to hear he is doing so well that he can be considered in the “set free” program. You don’t know what joy that brings to my heart, not just for Saticoy, but for ALL condors. I have been their biggest fan since the mid 1970’s… and will continue to be so, regardless where I live. With you being able to bring your project online for everyone to see and share has been beyond amazing. I am proud to post the link on my Facebook page everyday, to make others aware and hopefully enlighten them.

    Thanks again,

  3. Sorry to make 2 posts back to back but I just flipped back to my cam page and I meant to ask before if y’all had changed the camera in the enclosure this year? Both parents seem to be much more aware of it, as I see them look directly at me, well the camera lens, but regardless.. I was just wondering since they didn’t seem to do so last year with Saticoy.

  4. proud of Saticoy for being selected to go wild. remember when I was worried he wasn’t showing strong socialization skills towards parents (at end of his nesting) and hoped his condor mentor would help him mature. glad to hear he grew up into an adaptive condor and wish best of luck for his future journey.

  5. Love the Condor cam. Being able to watch the condor chick hatch and now grow is wonderful. Sisquoc and Shatash are beautiful and good parents. Thank you so much for all the work each of you do for the well being of the Condors.

  6. Thank you for the update on Saticoy!

  7. Hi, all.
    Thank you so much for the update on Saticoy. I’m glad to hear that he is good for being set free, but like a mother, I’m apprehensive and sad that he is going. I know you will continue to keep a watchful eye on him and I will pray for his safety in his new life.