Do condors get sunburned on their heads?

What a great question!!  Well, scientific research has concluded that birds (and the condors are very BIG birds) have reptiles in their family history.  Their skin is not the same as ours because we are mammals  (don’t forget your sunscreen) so therefore they do not sunburn.  And what a great design that is for the condors to have no feathers on their heads!!!  Condors eat dead animals-they are the garbage collectors of the canyon and help to keep the canyon clean.  They get right into their job, sticking their heads and neck right into bloody, dead carcasses (EEEWWWW).  It’s a messy job, and it is much better not to have sticky feathers to try to keep clean on their heads and neck.

You might see a condor from Lookout Studio or out by Powell Point.  Remember the numbers on their wing tags and follow their lives on the National Park website.   The condors are an endangered species and are being reintroduced to the Grand Canyon.  Please be careful not to drop and trash on the ground or into the canyon birds love to pick up bright colored plastics and eat them…..and that eventually kills them by filling their stomachs and leaving no room for food!!!  The same thing happens with the mule deer roaming the canyon rim.

Stop at the information counter at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center in Tusayan and ask me a question.  Together we can find answers.

Find Joy

About the Author

Joy Grand Canyon

Joy taught environmental sciences at Southern Vermont College and became active in outdoor land use.  Joy now lives ‘off-the-grid’ near the Grand Canyon on an acreage with solar power, and hauls water for her own needs and for her struggling raised-bed desert garden, dogs, cat, chickens, and Garrett-the-goose. Joy has rafted the Colorado River from Moab to Lake Mead, hiked many of the trails, and stayed at Phantom Ranch several times either by hiking or by mule.  Learning and reading is her passion, and she is constantly learning more about the Grand Canyon.

Joy is well traveled but never found a place that was more well suited for her than the Grand Canyon.  This is her home.  Stop in the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and allow her to share her home with you.

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