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California Condors in Memoriam
Sex: Male Hatch Location & Date: Los Angeles Zoo, 6/29/1998 Release Date: 1/19/1999 Parents:  #46 and #11 Local Biological Siblings: #340 Breeding Status: DECEASED 11/2013, #171 Offspring: fostered #475, #501, and #567

After release, Whalewatcher showed an adventurous spirit similar to his mate's (Condor #171), often leading the way into new parts of Big Sur. He has phenomenal foraging skills, as he was the only condor in the Big Sur flock to find a deceased whale in 2001, and often finds and feeds on various marine mammals when they wash ashore. A clerical error in Whalewatcher's medical file led us to believe that he was female and it was only after he reached sexual maturity at around six years old and began displaying masculine traits that we realized the mistake.

Whalewatcher and #171 have fostered several chicks and engage in vigorous territory defense when other condors invade their territory or when they feel that something is threatening the chick. Their vigilant parenting has served their foster chicks well.

Sadly, in the summer of 2013, Whalewatcher was tracked flying south of Pinnacles National Park into an area known where condors are known to come back with high lead levels after feeding. Despite being outfitted with a new transmitter just before he was last detected, his signal was not picked up after that and he has not been seen since. This missing older condor represents a huge loss for us and the entire flock. If you have any information regarding the disappearance of this bird, please contact us!

The remains of Whalewatcher were never found but the efforts continue to build a breeding population of California condors in Big Sur.
More photos of Whalewatcher