Condor chicks

A California condor chick practices flying in an outdoor pre-release pen. Eventually, it will travel to a wild release site to join free-flying condors in California and Arizona. 

A dozen flappy condor chicks are getting their wings this month at the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation. As their fluffy down turns to strong, sturdy wing feathers — a process known as fledging — the young birds have started to take short flights outside.

“Some of the chicks are still big fluffy balls of fury,” said Kelli Walker, the zoo's lead condor keeper. “But they’ll be full-fledged condors before long. Once they’re flying on their own, they’ll practice in larger enclosures until they’re finally ready to soar into the wild.”

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