(FOX40.COM) — Visit Mount Diablo in the East Bay in the near future and you may spot a California condor soaring overhead.
In recent weeks, six condors were roaming the skies around Mount Diablo, in Contra Costa County, and in western Stanislaus County, places where the birds had not been seen in a century, according to GPS tracking data.
“This is amazing news…This is the first flock of California condors to visit Contra Costa in 100 years, and the first record of one flying west of Diablo’s peaks,” said Seth Adams, the Land Conservation Director for Save Mount Diablo.
The six birds were tracked in the area around Mount Diablo, with one of them even heading west, closer to Walnut Creek, before they all headed back south to roost on a communication tower on Mount Oso, in Stanislaus County, Save Mount Diablo said.
“This flock of six that was around Mount Diablo originally started out in this area down by Pinnacles and Big Sur as a flock of 26 birds. Most of them went up and stopped around the Pacheco Pass area,” Juan Pablo Galvan Martinez with Save Mount Diablo said to FOX40.com.
The California condor has been brought back from the brink of extinction in recent decades. In the early 1980s, there were as few as 22 confirmed condors, and today they number above 340 in the wild and above 200 in captivity, according to the National Park Service.
Save Mount Diablo says that tags or GPS transmitters are placed on all condors, and these birds have been taking exploratory flights even farther north than the current range where they reside, which is mainly along the coastal range in interior California.
“With intensive management and with our conservation of the 200-mile-long Diablo range, a prime area for intact habitat that the condors love, we’re seeing them explore farther and farther north, reclaiming those ranges that they used to have centuries ago,” Galvan Martinez said.