#665 was given to Condor #168 and Condor #208 as a foster egg and hatched May 17, 2012. These spectacular parents are very close and they took excellent care of #665 in the cozy confines of a redwood nest cavity. However, they hit an unintended snag. Good condor parents try to find fragments of bone and seashells to bring back to their chick in the nest. The calcium in these items is essential for the chick’s bone growth so that they grow up healthy and sturdy. Unfortunately, condors have trouble distinguishing man-made pieces of trash from their target items. During #665’s routine nest entries, there were multiple instances when it was clear that “micro-trash” was a problem. Biologists found small trash items in his nest and even felt some trash in his crop (including a bottle cap and glass). Indeed, we have found buttons, pull-tabs from cans, screws, metal washers, and other man-made trash items in a number of nests. Sadly, some chicks have died from ingesting these items, so it is very important to pick up trash in the wild, no matter how small, whether it belongs to you or others.
Despite the micro-trash hazards of his days as a chick, #665 has been doing well along the Big Sur coast throughout 2013. He stuck around his natal redwood forest territory quite a bit for the first several months of his life, hence the nickname, Redwood Son. As he has aged, he has begun to explore more of Big Sur and hang out with other juvenile condors in his cohort.