A California condor reintroduced into the wild has laid an egg, suggesting that the great birds may be able to recover from the brink of extinction. The condor, the largest bird of prey in North America, numbered only 27 when wildlife officials began a captive breeding program in 1987. Despite successes in captive breeding, scientists had no evidence until last weekend that the 49 condors reintroduced into the wild in Arizona, California, and Utah had begun to procreate. Spotted by telescope in the Grand Canyon, egg No. 1 is cracked — but biologists say it is normal for first eggs to be cracked and that the parents will likely learn how to lay and care for their next egg.

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