In a previous post (Cover art from Cooper Ornithological Society/Club publications), I described how the illustrations of the California condor on the covers of publications of the Cooper Ornithological Society/Club reflected the state of ornithological science over the course of the 20th century. Here I present some additional art from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
This fine illustration, by H. R. Johnson, was first included on the title page of the 1903 volume of The Condor, the organization’s official journal:
This “sun worshipper” image appeared again many times in the organization’s publications.
But the Cooper Ornithological Club did not rely exclusively on images of the California condor in its early publications. The constitution establishing the organization included 3 small bird images, none of which were condors. The “official crest” of the organization, designed by W. Otto Emerson, featured the California quail:
The adoption of this crest was announced in the Bulletin of the Cooper Ornithological Club and the crest appeared in a number of club publications over the years, including issues of the series Pacific Coast Avifauna.
According to Harry Swarth’s history of the Cooper Ornithological Club, The Nidiologist was the “official organ” of the organization at the time of its founding. The condor image below, by P. W. Nahl, first appeared on the cover of the September 1893 issue:
And the title page of the February 1895 issue of The Nidiologist featured a condor chick:
Nidiologist? Nidiology is the study of birds’ nests and nesting behaviors. The term is little used today; it doesn’t even appear in the index of Frank Gill’s 750+ page textbook on ornithology.
So, as described in the earlier post noted above, before The Condor there was the Bulletin of the Cooper Ornithological Club. And before that there was The Nidiologist. All 3 of these publications of the Cooper Ornithological Society/Club have featured images of the California condor on their covers, over a time span of now more than 120 years.
Finally, from the back cover of Swarth’s history comes this amusing sketch of what surely is intended to be a condor that is, fittingly, wearing a beanie of the sort worn by students during the 1920s (artist not credited):
Constitution and by-laws of the Cooper Ornithological Club of California. Cooper Ornithological Club. 1895.
A club crest. Bulletin of the Cooper Ornithological Club. November-December 1899.
McGregor, Richard C. A list of the land birds of Santa Cruz County, California. Pacific Coast Avifauna. 1901.
Swarth, Harry S. A systematic study of the Cooper Ornithological Club. Cooper Ornithological Club. 1929.
Gill, Frank B. Ornithology. 3rd edition. Freeman. 2007.