Less Than 200 Wild California Condors Exist in the State. And 10% Have Gathered to Destroy This Woman's House.
Homeowner Cinda Mickols knows what a rare and unprecedented opportunity this is. But she still wants the once-extinct birds off her porch.
Between 15 and 20 California condors wreaked havoc on a Tehachapi home last weekend – which might not sound significant, except that the flock of enormous birds makes up around 10% of the critically endangered species’ California population of less than 200 in the wild.
And, it appears that many of them are still there.
“She did return home to 6 circling overhead,” the homeowner’s daughter Seana Quintero said Thursday in a now-viral Twitter thread. “Our theory is they go off to do condor things like look for food during the day but they always return for cocktail hour in the evening.”
Her mom Cinda Mickols told The New York Times that she had spent the weekend away, and came home to the condors tearing up her roof and leaving droppings on her deck.
“She does think this is pretty amazing but also the worst,” Quintero said. “They don’t have to leave her property but leave the house alone. They keep hanging out on her roof and railings messing with stuff and pooping everywhere.”
California condors are the biggest flying birds in the world, with a wingspan measuring at up to 10 feet, and weighing about 31 pounds.
“I’m even more in awe knowing that my tiny little mom was staring down a bunch of birds,” Quintero joked.
But what’s even more shocking is the California condor was declared extinct in the wild in the 1980s. It has slowly been rebuilding its numbers after being reintroduced to the wild.
“Her home is located in historical condor habitat where natural food sources occur,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, which has initiatives to repopulate the California condor, told Quintero on Twitter. “Unfortunately, they sometimes perceive houses and decks as suitable perch locations.”
They explained that anyone who spots them should avoid feeding them, and can gently shoo them off the property with “water hoses, yelling, clapping, shouting or using other preventative measures such as scarecrow sprinklers.”
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