Black and white illustrations of birds can never be as realistic as color illustrations. But black and white images can sometimes lead us to see birds more clearly.
In this post I show black and white illustrations of the California condor from books published 1958-1988. There is nothing special about this range of years other than it includes 10 books in my library that have fine black and white illustrations. Some of these books include multiple illustrations but I have chosen one example from each to show here.
All of the illustrations here are worthy of inspection and contemplation. Most include at least some elements of condor habitat, habitat that is worth noting.
The illustrations are presented in chronological order followed by the name of the artist and book where the illustration appeared.
Artist: D M Reid-Henry. Book: Greenway, James C, Jr. Extinct and vanishing birds of the world. American Committee for International Wild Life Protection. 1958.
Artist: Uncredited. Book: Smith, Dick, and Robert Easton. California condor: vanishing American. McNally and Loftin. 1964.
Artist: Charles Fracé. Book: Caras, Roger A. Source of the thunder: the biography of a California condor. Little, Brown. 1970.
Artist: Earl Thollander. Book: Atkinson, Brooks. This bright land: a personal view. Doubleday. 1972.
Artist: Terence Shortt. Book: Mackenzie, John P S. Birds in peril: a guide to the endangered birds of the United States and Canada. Houghton Mifflin. 1977.
Artist: Uncredited. Book: Smith, Dick. Condor journal: the history, mythology, and reality of the California condor. Capra. 1978.
Artist: Tim Bowles. Book: Phillips, David, and Hugh Nash, editors. The condor question: captive or forever free? Friends of the Earth. 1981.
Artist: Keith Hansen. Book: Beedy, Edward C, and Stephen L Granholm. Discovering Sierra birds: western slope. Yosemite Natural History Association. 1985.
Artist: Marion Sharp. Book: Brown, Bryan T, and others. Grand Canyon birds: historical notes, natural history, and ecology. University of Arizona Press. 1987.
Artist: R M Mengel. Book: Palmer, Ralph S, editor. Handbook of North American birds. Yale University Press. 1988.
These are all excellent images, each conveying a sense of the California condor as a living organism that exhibits complex behaviors and has a sense of itself.