International Vulture Awareness Day 2019
Join us for International Vulture Awareness Day, where we’re celebrating these charismatic and often misunderstood birds with fascinating activities and special entertainment. Learn about the very important role that carrion eaters play in food webs around the world, and discover how the Zoo is helping to save the iconic California condor and other endangered vultures.
At and around Entry Plaza
Vulture Visit: Get up-close views of Dolly the California condor or Cacique the king vulture at keeper walkabouts at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Keeper Talk: At 12:30 p.m., hear vulture keeper Katie Vincent’s first-hand account of saving birds in Africa with conservation NGO VulPro.
Microtrash Education Station: Small bits of debris – or microtrash – can be a big problem for the vultures that ingest them. Discover how to spot microtrash with this collection activity.
Biofacts Education Station: Vultures play a key role in keeping ecosystems healthy. But, with all the less-than-fresh meat they consume, how do they stay health? Visit this station to find out.
California Condor Wild and Free Station: What’s life like for California condors in the wild, and what can you do to help them thrive there? Find out from representatives of all-volunteer organization California Condor Wild and Free.
Condor Crafts: Let your creativity soar! Color your own condor or make a vulture-inspired necklace.
“Nest Check” Rock-Climbing Wall: Scale a rock wall and pretend you’re a condor biologist reaching a nest atop a steep cliff. Biologists periodically visit California condor nests to check the health and progress of eggs and chicks. For ages 4+. Must wear closed-toed shoes. Weight maximum is 250 pounds. Waiver is required.
California Condor Rescue Zone: Explore this educational, interactive, air-conditioned space where children ages six and older can pretend to be a condor or play at being a vulture-saving doctor. Our Education staff will be hosting a condor-themed Campfire Story at 12:30 p.m.
At the Angela Collier World of Birds Theater
Bird Show Stars: Flock to the World of Birds Show for a special program highlighting some of our remarkable resident vultures at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (Programming subject to change without notice due to weather.)
“A California Condor Success Story”: Meet L.A. Zoo California condor Anyapa, her species’ first successful single surrogate mother, who raised two chicks simultaneously. In the wild, it’s rare for a condor to care for offspring without a partner. But Anyapa did it, through a special bond with one of the Zoo’s animal keepers.
“6 Condor Chicks Born at L.A. Zoo Thanks to New Breeding Technique” (KTLA 5): The chick-rearing method that the L.A. Zoo first pioneered with California condor surrogate mother Anyapa was so successful that we’ve used it with other birds, yielding great results.
“California Condor Population Rebounding After the Bird Species Nearly Went Extinct” (People.com): Thanks to the California Condor Recovery Program – a partnership between our zoo, the San Diego Zoo, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and others – the 1,000th California condor chick recently hatched. In 1982, the wild population was down to just 22 birds.
International Vulture Awareness Day – Home Page: More than 100 organizations worldwide participate in International Vulture Awareness Day! See the list here.
Andean Condor: The Andean condor is one of the world’s largest flying birds. Learn more about these birds and visit our resident Andean condor, Leadbottom.
Black Vulture: Black vultures are the most common vulture in the Western Hemisphere. Discover more about their distribution and their unique family ties.
King Vulture: The king vulture was seen by the ancient Mayans as a messenger between gods and humans. Visit these colorful carrion-eaters in the South America section.