Story at a glance

  • About 15 to 20 of the condors descended on Cinda Mickols’s deck and roof outside the city of Tehachapi in Southern California this week.
  • Her daughter later tweeted photos of the condors.
  • The endangered California condor is the largest North American bird with a wingspan of nearly 10 feet.

A large flock of endangered California condors has decided to take over a California woman’s home. 

About 15 to 20 of the condors descended on Cinda Mickols’s deck and roof outside the city of Tehachapi in Southern California this week. Mickols told The New York Times she was away for the weekend and returned home Monday to find the large birds on the outside of her house. 


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She said she was both “amazed and angry” to encounter the animals. 

Her daughter later tweeted photos of the condors. 

“They still haven’t left. It sucks but also this is unheard of, there’s only 160 of these birds flying free in the state and a flock of them decided to start a war with my mom,” she said. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife responded to Quintero’s tweets, noting that Mickols’s home is located in historic condor habitat and suggested she use harmless methods such as spraying water, shouting or clapping to shoo the condors away. 

Mickols said as of Wednesday the large birds had moved to a tree on her property.

The California condor is the largest North American bird with a wingspan of nearly 10 feet. The species once ranged as far east as Florida, but populations began to dramatically fall by the mid-20th century due to poaching, poisoning and habitat destruction. 

Only 23 condors remained by the 1980s, and all remaining wild condors were put into a captive breeding program. Thanks to conservation efforts over the decades the total wild population is more than 300 birds in parts of California’s Central Coast, Arizona, Utah and Mexico. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in March announced plans to establish a facility in Northern California to reintroduce the species into the Redwood National Park to create a nonessential experimental population under the Endangered Species Act. 


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Published on May 06, 2021