Unexpected magazine articles

Articles about the California condor have been published in hundreds of magazines. Magazines about nature, science, and travel have all included condor articles. The same goes for magazines intended for birders, children, and outdoor types. And news and general-interest magazines have carried their share of articles about the condor.

But sometimes magazine articles about the condor appear where I had not expected them. In this post I offer examples not previously considered in this blog.

Unless otherwise noted, the articles noted below are not credited to an author.


The 5 May 1928 issue of The Literary Digest includes “Pet Condor as Cute as a Canary”:


This review of the book Wild Animal Pets, by William and Irene Finley (Scribner, 1926), is largely a summary of the Finleys’ chapter concerning General, their pet California condor.

Popular Mechanics Magazine for November 1929 includes “Youth Fights Condor to Win Thousand Dollar Egg”. After briefly telling the tale indicated by the title, this article offers some natural history of the California condor (not all of it accurate).

The September 1949 issue of California Highway Patrolman offers “The California Condor Is Winning Long, Hard Battle for Existence” by Barney Schwartz. This overview of the natural history of the California condor makes plain the author’s admiration for this bird. There is no information here that is aimed specifically at the highway patrolmen of California.

“To Save a Bird” was published in the September 1973 issue of Aerospace Safety. This brief piece urges Air Force pilots to comply with the laws restricting flights over and around 4 areas designated as key habitat for California condors. I was surprised that the article was more concerned with the well-being of condors than it was with the safety of pilots.

The October 1982 issue of Futurist includes “Saving the California Condor”. This article reviews the controversy over whether or not condors should be intensively managed. The opposing perspectives of Friends of the Earth and the Fish and Wildlife Service are presented without comment. The article’s author does not take a side.

Steve Ginsberg’s “Anyone for Condor Stew?” was published in the 22 September 1986 issue of Forbes. A brief biography of economist and would-be politician Arthur Laffer, this short piece begins with Laffer’s free-market scheme to prevent the extinction of the California condor.

Finally, I note 2 “unexpected magazine articles” that only refer to the California condor. Robert T. Francoeur’s “Tomorrow’s Fossils” appeared in the February 1972 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Ruth Davidson’s “Museum Accessions” was published in the January 1970 issue of Antiques.


The article from Antiques notes that the New York Historical Society had acquired the original painting of the “Californian vulture” (California condor) by John James Audubon.