Birdwatching is a popular activity in the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Since the Grand Canyon National Park is on the path of a major migratory route for birds of prey, it is a great place to come and catch a glimpse of these magnificent animals! Golden and Bald Eagles, Hawks, Kestrels, and Peregrine falcons can often be seen flying in the skies above the Grand Canyon. The best time for birding is in the autumn months.
The California condor is one of the Grand Canyon’s most famous bird species. The California condor is considered one of the rarest birds in the world and is the largest land bird in North America. The condor boasts a wingspan of a whopping 9 ½ feet! They can often be seen flying in the skies during the summer months.
Northern Arizona is one of four release sites in the California condor recovery program, which for the past 25 years has sought to bring these large scavenger birds back from the brink of extinction. Historically, condors ranged from British Columbia to northern Mexico, but because of their vulnerability to environmental hazards and their low birth rate, the world population had dwindled to only 22 by 1982. These birds formed the basis of a captive breeding program that has boosted their numbers to over 300. About 130 of those have been released at sites in Arizona, Mexico and California, and every year since 2003, condors at Grand canyon have successfully bred in the wild. The more than 60 condors in the skies over Arizona can frequently be heard flapping their 9 – 11 foot wings in the wind. You can learn more about condors on peregrinefund.org.