Contents of a Condor Chick Gut

This was part of a story from the SWAROVSKI BIRDING COMMUNITY E-BULLETIN about a California Condor chick that was not doing well in the wild. Researchers removed it from the nest and discoverd the chick was impacted:

After transporting the chick to the Los Angeles Zoo, and following a three-hour operation, an astounding amount of material was removed from the ventriculus and proventriculus of the condor chick. The following items were among the debris removed from the chick: 4 bottle caps and a screw top, 3 electrical fittings, 5 washers, 13 22-caliber shell-casings, 1 38-caliber shell-casing, a shotgun-shell, several pieces of plastic bags, about a quarter cup of broken glass and a similar amount of broken plastic, a few small pieces of fabric, 4 small stones, a metal bracket, a piece of wire, and a few small pieces of rubber.

Fortunately, it did not appear that any of this remarkable collection of detritus perforated the gut, and currently the chick appears to be doing well.

Does this mean that all adult condors are attracted to ubiquitous shiny objects and will bring them back to their nest for their chicks? Or does this simply mean that male #21 and/or female #192 have this tendency? If the first option is the case, then the species is clearly in deep trouble, since these sorts of objects are virtually everywhere in a condor's environment. If the second is the case - with this unfortunate chick simply having "idiot parents" - then we should remain hopeful.

The E-bulletin is distributed as a joint effort between Swarovski Optik of
North America (SONA) and the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA).
You can access an archive of past E-bulletins on the NWRA site.