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Old 08-29-2011   #1
Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 13
Condors in Westwater

Got to the end of the inner canyon on Westwater on saturday and was watching the sky. We saw two birds gliding pretty high up just off the cliff walls river right, then landed beneath a ledge river left near bald eagle camp. Could tell they weren't baldy's or goldy's, and definitely weren't vultures. They had that very distinct white pattern on the bottoms of their wings, and wing shape. Anyone else seen them?

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Old 08-29-2011   #2
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 32
very distinct white pattern on the bottoms of their wings, and wing shape. That sounds like a Golden Eagle. Another good distinguishing factor of the Golden is at the ends of their wings it looks finger like. They also like to fly along ridges hunting for other birds / mammals. I'd say you saw a pair of Goldens.

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Old 08-29-2011   #3
Estes Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 35
Here's a visual. Identify the perpetrator! I have seen a pair of mature bald eagles below the put in (almost always there) AND a pair of goldens in the same spot lower down on the cliff face. Also have seen immature balds near Bald Eagle camp...
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Old 08-29-2011   #4
Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 13

While both of the immature eagles have white markings on the bottom of the wing, the markings of the condor are quite distinct.
Having run westwater many times commercially and privately in the last five years, I feel I can confidently identify the immature eagles seen quite regularly above and below the canyon.
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Old 08-29-2011   #5
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
A captive-breeding effort at southern California zoos helped the condors avoid extinction. In 1991, condors were reintroduced to the wild. There are now more than 330 condors in existence, and over half of those (approximately 175) are flying free in parts of Arizona, California, Baja California and Utah. The birds are protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
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Old 09-08-2011   #6
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Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 44
Saw a pair of nesting balds just after put in and then above Marble canyon saw four HUGE goldens. One perched and the others soaring. The perched giant looked like an immature bald, but judging from the size, it must have been a golden.

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