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Vermilion’s Condor Viewing Site is a website that provides everything you need to know about the condor. The site also has information on how far is Vermillion Cliffs from Page, Arizona.
The condor viewing point at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is one of just a few spots in North America where you may see the Condors of California, North America’s biggest flying bird. Witnessing the giant vulture, with its roughly 10-foot wingspan, soar magnificently overhead should be on everyone’s nature bucket list. It was practically difficult to witness a condor in the wild in North America until recently. We observed roughly 50 on our visit to Vermilion Cliff National Monument (NM).
The Peregrine Fund and the Bureau of Land Management have been collaborating to release condors at Vermilion Cliffs NM since 1996, when the US Fish and Wildlife Service agreed that this was the best location. The Condors of California was spared from extinction as an endangered bird species thanks to human intervention.
Condors of California
In 1982, there were 22 Condors of Californias. Today, there are more than 500, with about 100 living near Vermilion Cliffs NM.” alt=”” width=”1024″ height=”722″ data-ez=”” data-ezsrc=”http://imagegod.b-cdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Vermilions-Condor-Viewing-Site-Everything-You-Need-to-Know.jpg” />Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is one of the few places in North America to easily spot condors in the wild.
Six condors were released onto the cliffs in 1996, resulting in a remarkable rise. Each year, roughly six to ten birds have been released since then. Individual number tags and two radio transmitters are attached to the edge of each bird’s wings. A team of around ten scientists keeps track of their development on a daily basis.
Once critically endangered, only recently has this unusual-looking bird started successfully breeding in the wild again thanks to an aggressive conservation breeding program. Sightings are rare because the birds are found in very small numbers in a few locations. Although there are birding opportunities in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, and Mexico, the Condors of Californias are primarily seen around both the Pinnacles and Vermilion Cliffs national monuments.
Cameras and Binoculars
The Condor Observation Area at Vermilion allows visitors to easily see these awesome birds in the wild. Whether they’re perched on the cliff or soaring thousands of feet above, the best way to watch them is with a budget-savvy set of travel size 12×42 binoculars, 10x magnification binoculars probably won’t cut it from the distance of the viewing site.” alt=”” width=”1024″ height=”768″ data-ez=”” data-ezsrc=”http://imagegod.b-cdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/1647964408_172_Vermilions-Condor-Viewing-Site-Everything-You-Need-to-Know.jpg” />The viewfinder at the Condor Observation Area doesn’t work so you better make sure to bring a good pair of binoculars and a superzoom camera.
The Healsun binoculars come with a phone adapter, which will allow you to take amazing photos. Also, having a pair of binoculars always available will help with the other wildlife spottings and scenic viewpoints that you will come across during your travels through the area.” alt=”” width=”1024″ height=”683″ data-ez=”” data-ezsrc=”http://imagegod.b-cdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/1647964410_818_Vermilions-Condor-Viewing-Site-Everything-You-Need-to-Know.jpg” />The better the camera, the more detailed your photos will appear.
Make careful to bring your own binoculars (viewfinder) since the huge mounted binoculars (viewfinder) at the viewing point do not operate. Because camera phones will be severely pixilated, the Nikon COOLPIX P1000 may be a good investment. The P1000 is by far the greatest travel-size wildlife camera on the market, with a 125x zoom; photographers have even used it to capture the space station from Earth!
Condor Observation Area
Positioned along the southwest edge of Vermilion Cliff NM, the Condor Observation Area is only a five-minute drive off US Hwy 89A, the monument’s main road.” alt=”” width=”1024″ height=”768″ data-ez=”” data-ezsrc=”http://imagegod.b-cdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/1647964412_125_Vermilions-Condor-Viewing-Site-Everything-You-Need-to-Know.jpg” />The Condor Observation Area is made up of a simple shelter and picnic table.
Whether you’re based in Kanab, UT, or Page, AZ the Condor Observation Area is basically an equal distance away. Consequently, the only difference is that visitors from Kanab will approach from the west, traversing through the Kaibab National Forest. While sightseers from Page will approach from the east, traveling the entire length of the Vermilion Cliffs.
There’s a beauty, a grandeur about the encounter that’s deserving of adding Vermilion’s Condor Observation Area to a bucket list. – The Budget Savvy Travelers
Upon turning north on House Rock Rd., travel for about three miles to the Condor Observation Area. It’s impossible to miss as it’s the only thing in the vicinity.
Keep an eye out for bird droppings.
The condors are easy to see since their white droppings cover the rock face. To progressively zoom in on the condors, click on each image below. It’s clear to understand why taking a camera with good zoom capabilities, such as the Nikon COOLPIX P1000, is so important.
The third picture (above) shows about 10 Condors of Californias roosting on the cliff. Sadly, our point-and-shoot camera wasn’t strong enough to provide a high-quality zoom.
The Condor Observation Area includes a useless viewfinder, interpretive panels, a picnic table with shelter, and a bathroom (pit toilet). Also, there is no fee to access the viewing site or the Vermilion Cliffs NM.
Tip: We took food and beverages to enjoy while watching the condors in our Igloo Tag Along cooler. It’s the only cooler on the market that can keep items chilly for a long time. It has a comfortable shoulder strap and is the ideal travel size.
Best Time to Visit Condor Observation Area
” alt=”” width=”1024″ height=”768″ data-ez=”” data-ezsrc=”http://imagegod.b-cdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/1647964414_602_Vermilions-Condor-Viewing-Site-Everything-You-Need-to-Know.jpg” />The Condors of California is one of the rarest and most special birds in North America.
The best time to visit Vermilion’s Condor Observation Area is during winter and early spring when visitors are almost guaranteed to spot at least one, if not tens of condors. As spring transitions to summer, the condors may move east towards the Navajo Bridge and then south towards the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Finally, during the fall, the condors roost/nest on the cliffs just west of Kaibab National Forest.
Spotting & Encountering – Our Birding Experience
Springtime is busy in Arizona. Between the snowbirds and spring breakers, popular trails and parks can get congested. To escape the crowds, we decided to experience one of Arizona’s most hidden wildlife experiences, watching the grace and beauty of the Condors of California.
Pulling up to the Condor Observation Area, we were excited to enjoy one spectacular wildlife show.” alt=”” width=”1024″ height=”768″ data-ez=”” data-ezsrc=”http://imagegod.b-cdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/1647964416_310_Vermilions-Condor-Viewing-Site-Everything-You-Need-to-Know.jpg” />Condors of Californias flying high above the cliff!
We estimate that we observed roughly 50 condors throughout our stay, either sitting on the cliffs or flying over them. The big birds will come and go, taking turns scouting out the area if you wait long enough. Seeing them take off in tiny groups and fly alongside the Vermillion Cliffs is thrilling.
If you decide to attend, pack some food and beverages so you don’t have to hurry. We took advantage of the comfortable seating area by bringing a picnic lunch and relaxing while watching the nature show. After touring the Grand Canyon or other sites of Vermilion National Monument, it’s a terrific opportunity to stretch your legs.
Condors of California – Interesting Facts
Below are some interesting facts related to the Condors of California:
- They are North America’s biggest land birds.
- The average weight is around 26 pounds.
- Wingspans of up to 9.5 feet are possible.
- Up to 4.3 feet in height.
- Over 60 years old.
- A 15-thousand-square-mile range.
- They usually fly alone or in couples.
- In the wild, one egg is laid every other year.
- Biologists take the eggs from the nests and incubate them. As a consequence, the breeding couple almost always lays an extra egg, doubling the number of eggs hatched.
- To defend themselves from land-based predators, they build their nests high on cliffs and in caves.
- Carrion, or the rotting flesh of deceased animals, is the only food you should consume.
- Fly 200+ miles in a single day by soaring above the earth on wind thermals near steep slopes or canyons.
- Condors are known to create strong friendships with their fellow condors.
- Inquisitive creatures that examine anything that seems to be novel.
- Play fighting and preening is a lot of fun.
- Condors glide smoothly, unlike turkey vultures, which wobble as they soar.
- The most probable cause of the species’ catastrophic extinction seems to be lead poisoning. According to research, spent ammunition was a frequent cause of lead exposure in the carrion consumed by condors. California has made it unlawful to hunt using lead ammunition as of July 1, 2019.
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument Condor Observation Area is one of the easiest and best places to spot the Condors of California in the wild. While winter and spring are the ideal time to spot the high-flying animal, it is possible to see them any time of the year near Vermilion.
The “vermilion cliffs in winter” is a beautiful place to visit during the winter. It has amazing views of the surrounding area and is filled with natural beauty.
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