Bad news for big bird

Lead poisoning, which nearly killed off California condors, still threatens the birds

By Stephen Ornes, 17:02 PM July 16, 2012

Thirty years ago, the California condor came dangerously close to extinction. Biologists took action, and their efforts worked. The big, bald birds lived, and their numbers grew — from 22 in 1982 to several hundred today.

But the bird’s apparent success story may be misleading, a new study finds. By studying blood and feathers from condors in the wild, researchers have confirmed that the birds are suffering a slow poisoning.

It’s not surprising. Lead poisoning nearly wiped the big bird o...

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