The California Lead Ammunition Ban, Why It Matters” is the first sentence of David Stillman’s May 12. 2014 blog. Read the full post at for a very good overview of the issue of lead ammunition use. As David states AB 711 banning many uses of lead ammunition by July 1, 2019 or sooner is now the law in the entire state of California. (The current Condor zone protections remain in place.)

Currently, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is formulating a phased-in implementation plan for the new legislation.  As a starting point for discussion the Department proposed a small amount of implementation in 2015, more use of non-lead ammunition in 2016 with no further implantation until July 1, 2019. The Department is accepting public comment/recommendation via email at (please use “Non-lead implementation” in the subject line) or hard copy correspondence to  CDFW Wildlife Branch, Attn: Non-lead Implementation, 1812 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811 before August 1, 2014.  A press release including a first draft implementation plan is currently available at

As David Stillman writes, “The condor is a unique and extraordinary animal.” Unfortunately, the number one cause of mortality and morbidity for this extraordinary animal is lead poisoning from lead ammunition.  Please do your part to ban the use of lead ammunition in California sooner (2016) rather than later (2019) by providing your important comment to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife now!


Friends of California Condors Wild and Free are sponsoring fun activities this summer. In two to three weeks a few lucky people will have the opportunity to visit Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Fillmore to mow grass, maintain trails and attempt weed control. If you are interested in a fun-filled day of sweat and tears in an extraordinary environment contact Vince Gerwe via email ( or telephone(805-901-8254805-901-8254)  for details of this volunteer opportunity. Condor sightings are anticipated but not guaranteed.

In Ojai the Friends group is sponsoring a fun event of the movie variety. Tears will flow but less sweat will be present during a showing of The Condor’s Shadow, a film by Jeff McLoughlin, at the Libby Bowl in July. The tentative date is July 18th. The Friends group, the Ojai Raptor Center and the Santa Barbara Zoo will be present before the show to entertain and educate. In a few days check the Friends website ,,  activity page for details.



Stop by the Friends booth at the 4th of July Street Fair in Ventura, CA. We’ll be there to answer all your California Condor questions and show off our Condor “wings” on your arms. Bring your camera.

If you are on the road near Maricopa, CA- specifically the Hudson Ranch/Cerro Noroeste Road which bisects the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge the first and third Saturday of the summer months stop by the Friends roadside kiosk for up-to-date Condor information and hopefully a sighting of a Condor in the sky. Check the activity page of our website for details.



Parenting a young Condor is hard work! Three long time Condor pairs are raising a young chick in the vicinity of Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. Two of the three nest caves have nest cameras. View some of the loving, hilarious action at The Condor Cave facebook page provided by the Santa Barbara Zoo.


Check our Friends of California Condors Wild and Free facebook page – great photos, good information.


All photographs courtesy of Loi Nguyen and used with permission.