Californiaaaaaa!!! What a trip. Driving up the mountain was long as hell, we just kept going! I believe once we were at the base, we were over 2000 ft above sea level. Along the way the dude from the Condor Sanctuary informed us of the rarity of these Condors along with the fight they had to go through to survive. I mean they were close to extinction, and sanctuaries like this are absolutely essential to keeping these amazing birds alive.
The Condors here flew freely and were not in cages. So we had to set up bait to trap some Condors if we wanted a good look at them. Dragging a stillborn calf at the dead of night while carrying a bag of dead rats isn’t exactly what I had in mind for my evening. But the cover of night was essential so that the birds don’t associate humans to food. They need to keep their wits about them to hunt and not grow reliant on us.
We were very fortunate to get in there with them and see the Condors up close. Studying their physical attributes gave us tons of ideas for what we wanted our Monster Bird to look like. Looking into the eyes of a Condor sent chills down my spine. It was blood red! The bird looked very intimidating, and freaky. The talons were crazy cool! They looked like dinosaur feet! The head was just unreal, it was wrinkly and reddish. Not at all what I think of when I think birds. Just what we needed for our Monster Bird!