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Watch Condor Chick Hatch on Webcam

The California condor chick in this egg has begun breaking its way out of its shell.
The California condor chick in this egg has begun breaking its way out of its shell. (Image credit: Tammy Spratt, San Diego Zoo Safari Park)

A California condor chick is ready to hatch at the San Diego Zoo and anyone who want to see it can watch live via webcam.

The chick began to pip -- or break through its egg shell -- on Thursday and is expected to hatch in the next couple of days.

The zoo's Condor Cam gives the public the first-ever opportunity to see this process -- usually only witnessed by zookeepers and wildlife biologists -- live. You can also see parents Sisquoc and Shatash taking turns incubating the egg.

California condors are monogomous and mate for life. The birds can live up to 50 to 60 years and lay only one egg in their nest at a time.

The condors are listed as critically endangered; in 1982, there were only 22 birds in the wild. The zoo began its captive breeding program in the '80s, and has since released some 80 birds into the wild. There are now nearly 400 California condors in captivity and the wild.

Fans of the new condor chick can also suggest a name for it in the Chumash language on the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy's Facebook page or via Twitter using the hashtag #CondorName. Suggestions will be accepted through March 15.

Live Science Staff
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