Cosmo's story is comparable to a television soap opera. She spends most of her time with large groups of condors and her affable nature and fun-loving ways meant that many male condors were interested in her when she matured. In 2008, she chose to pair with Condor #204 and they fostered Condor #470 together. Their partnership came to an end in 2010 when #204 was severely injured and had to be taken to the zoo for care and recovery. Even before #204's injuries, Condor #251 had spent every spare moment hanging around Cosmo. #204's prolonged absence in the zoo resulted in Cosmo re-pairing with #251 and they had Condor #603 in 2011.
To add to the drama, Cosmo and #251 spent a lot of time with Condor #306, a female released from Pinnacles National Park. Cosmo had been seen holding out her wings and showing off around #306: this display is typically performed by male condors when courting females, but in this case, biologists suspect that Cosmo was just promoting her dominance over the younger #306. The two ladies never showed jealousy over the split attentions of #251. The three condors, Cosmo, #251, and #306 formed a sort of trio around raising Condor #664 and Condor #708. Both chicks' parents were #251 and #306 (determined using genetic information), but Cosmo dedicated her time to help raise each chick as well. Sadly, #306 died in 2013 (the cause was a strongly suspected case of lead poisoning) and although Cosmo and #251 continued to care for her chick, #708 died shortly after #306 did. We hope that Cosmo and #251 will have better luck next year. She, #251, and #664 can often be seen flying the Big Sur coast together.
More photos of Cosmo