PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Lianni and Lurch, the pair of Andean Condors at the National Aviary, have produced their first egg since 2009 right here in Pittsburgh and it is expected to hatch between June 6-9.
The Aviary’s live camera, which can be viewed on their website, captured a look at the process of Lianni laying the egg.
“It’s so rare to get a look like this at a natural behavior like egg laying, said Cheryl Tracy National Aviary Executive Director. “I found it so interesting to watch Lianni’s reaction to it all, too. It was a remarkably touching moment to witness, and I hope all our viewers can connect to Lianni through this experience and grow their concern for wild Andean Condor populations as well.”
The nest is tucked inside of a 4×6 deep cave in the Aviary’s “Condor Court” and visitors can see the male condor, Lurch, as well as Lianni incubating the egg inside her cave.
This will be the first Andean Condor hatching at the Aviary since 2009 if the hatching is successful.
Lianni has produced four chicks in the past and three of those were released in the wild in Columbia and Venezuela in order to assist with increasing the Andean Condor population in those areas. The fourth was given to a conservation center in Florida.
“With Andean Condor populations in decline, every chick that hatches is important, and we are delighted to share the anticipation and wonder of the chick’s arrival with the world by way of this nest cam,” Tracy said. “Through our participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ collaborative breeding program and our field conservation projects in Ecuador, the National Aviary is supporting efforts to reverse the decline of this remarkable species.”
These condors are the world’s largest flighted bird with wingspans of approximately 10 feet. They also only lay one egg every 18-24 months.
The Aviary’s Andean Condor breeding programs has been a part of a global effort to save the species, which are threatened throughout much of their range and in Ecuador, they are critically endangered.
In 2015, the Aviary renovated Condor Court to mimic the cliffs of the High Andes mountain region where Andean Condors usually live and nest.