As newspapers continue to sell off their collections of photographic prints, I have obtained more of these working documents for my collection. This post presents 10 news photos of California condors in chronological order.
Except as noted, the photographs below were not credited to an individual. All the photographs are black and white, as was typical for news photographs of the time.
This striking UPI photograph is dated 12 April 1969:
On the reverse of the above image is a caption, which begins:
Silhouetted against the sky of the Los Padres National Forest in California, a California condor surveys its last retreat. Only some 40 of these largest of North American soaring birds remain.
The next photograph (yellowed from age) is from the AP and is dated 2 April 1983. This shows a very young but alert Sisquoc, the first California condor chick hatched in captivity:
Here’s a photograph of a 3-month-old condor:
The above image was released by the Zoological Society of San Diego and is dated 22 November 1983. Given the bird’s age, the photograph would have been taken in late spring or early summer.
There are 2 captions on the reverse of this next photograph, also credited to the Zoological Society of San Diego:
The first caption is dated 9 June 1985:
A condor spread its wings for light at the San Diego Wild Animal Park “condorminium”
The second caption is dated 11 January 1995:
Watch that perch! Wildlife biologists are trying to teach California condors to recognize and avoid power lines, which have taken a big toll on the endangered species.
Another beautiful photo released by the Zoological Society of San Diego and dated 9 June 1985 shows Cyndi Toone and a colleague assisting a condor from its egg:
Next is a press release announcing a 1986 television program that came in the form of 2 photographs and a caption printed together on one 8 x 10 inch sheet:
A critical moment in the history of California condors and humans is captured in this photograph:
The above image, dated 19 April 1987, shows Pete Bloom on the left, Greg Sanders on the right, and AC-9 in the middle. AC-9 was the last condor brought in from the wild for captive breeding and is seen still tangled in the net that trapped him. This photograph was taken by John McNeely for AP. For more on the significance of 19 April 1987, see the post Extinct in the wild: news reports – part 1.
From 21 February 1989, this AP photograph shows Michael Wallace (left) and Don Richardson (right) with a condor egg:
The caption for the above image explains that the egg was laid at the Los Angeles Zoo and then transferred to the San Diego Wild Animal Park for further care.
In 1992, California condors began to be released into the wild. This photograph, dated 15 January 1992 and taken by Mark J. Terrill for AP, shows an early step in the process:
The above image shows 2 California condors (center) and an Andean condor at the Sespe Condor Sanctuary.
Finally, here is an energetic group of recently-released California condors:
The above image is dated 8 December 1993 and was taken by Alan Hagman of the Los Angeles Times for AP.