In a surprising turn of events, Cinda Mickols, a resident of California, found herself hosting an unexpected gathering of over 20 critically endangered condors on her roof and deck.
With their massive wingspans and impressive size, these majestic birds had chosen Mickols’ property as their temporary residence.
“Over the weekend, ~15 California condors descended on my mom’s house and absolutely trashed her deck. They still haven’t left … This is unheard of; there [are] only 160 of these birds flying free in the state, and a flock of them decided to start a war with my mom,” says Seana Lyn Quintero on Twitter.
Once on the brink of extinction with only a few dozen remaining in the wild, the California condor has seen a remarkable recovery thanks to captive breeding efforts.
An estimated 160 wild condors roam the California skies, and Mickols’ deck has become the latest hotspot for these magnificent creatures.
Initially puzzled by the uninvited visitors, Mickols soon realized that the condors had taken a bit too much liking to her property.
While she found their presence amazing, she also experienced the downsides of their enthusiasm.
Seana Quintero, Mickols’ daughter, shared on Twitter that the condors had been causing havoc on the deck, lounging on the roof and railings, tampering with items, and leaving their marks everywhere.
“She does think this is pretty amazing but also the worst. 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. Trees are fine, but not the house, please.”
Mickols hoped the condors would enjoy the trees and surroundings but spare her house from their exuberant activities.
Over several days, the condors made themselves at home, wreaking havoc on Mickols’ deck and roof, resulting in substantial damage and financial implications.
Quintero expressed the unprecedented nature of the situation, highlighting that only around 160 of these birds are freely flying in the state, and a flock of them had decided to wage a “war” against her mother.
Although the condors eventually expanded their territory, they regularly visited Mickols’ roof and deck.
“Mom had to go into town, and when she came back, one was on the roof & two were just chillin’ off her deck. Many more were circling overhead with ravens, turkey vultures, and hawks! Guess word is out in the bird community that my mom’s place is the place to be.”
While it is truly miraculous to witness the resurgence of a nearly extinct animal, Mickols hopes that the condors will eventually find more suitable habitats, such as mountains and cliffs.
Despite appreciating the presence of these “condor kids” and enjoying watching them soar in the skies above her house, Mickols, a retired teacher on a fixed income, has faced financial burdens due to the damage caused by their powerful talons and playful behavior.
“Even though she appreciates her condor kids and is enjoying watching them soar through the skies over her house, they are causing a lot of damage with their big talons and party-kid behavior, and she is a retired teacher on a fixed income.”
Nonetheless, the situation underscores the success of the captive breeding program, bringing hope for the continued recovery of the condor population.
With any luck, there will soon be enough condors in the wild to cause mischief on decks far and wide, sparing homeowners like Mickols from bearing the brunt of their enthusiastic visits.