Giant California condors are a rare species — but not at Cinda Mickols’ home, where a flock of them gathered to run riot. There are only around 200 of them in the entire State, so it’s quite something when about 10% of that number turns up to trash your property.
About 15 to 20 of the giant endangered birds have recently taken a liking to the house in the city of Tehachapi and made quite a mess.
She told the San Francisco Chronicle the birds showed up at her mother’s home sometime last weekend.
The birds have trashed the deck — ruining a spa cover, decorative flags and lawn ornaments. While not quite at the levels of destruction seen in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds there was still damage to plants , railings scratched and poop all over the place.
“She’s definitely frustrated but also is in awe of this and knows what an unusual experience this is,” Quintero said of her mother.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which runs a program to save the species from extinction, responded on Twitter. The agency noted that the house is in historic condor habitat, and suggested that Mickols try harmless hazing like shouting and clapping or spraying water.
California condors almost vanished in the 1980s before the few remaining birds were captured and placed in zoos for captive breeding. A few hundred birds are now in the wild or on Mickols’ decking.