A goal of this blog is to explore what people learn about California condors from various sources, especially in the past.
Like many newspapers, the Iowa City Press-Citizen regularly featured (and may still) a set of questions and answers for its readers. Here are 10 concerning the California condor (I left out some duplicates).
The questions and answers below were among those appearing under the heading “Little University”.
From 1938: Which are the largest flying birds? The California condor, with a wingspread of from 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 feet and a weight of from 45 to 60 pounds.
(That weight is about double what it should be.)
From 1943: What bird is the largest that flies? The condor.
(Andean or California? It wasn’t specified.)
From 1946: What is the largest bird in the United States? The California condor.
From 1947: What is the largest bird in North America? The California condor.
(I wonder why the switch from the United States to North America.)
From 1949: What is the largest bird in the United States? The California condor.
(And the switch back ….)
Then the heading changed to “The Question Box” and the questions became more substantive.
From 1955: How many young does the giant California condor produce at one time? They lay only one egg and do not lay every year.
From 1965: What are the rarest birds in the United States? The ivory-billed woodpecker, whooping crane, California condor, Everglades kite, and Bachman’s warbler.
From 1967: What is the wingspan of the California condor? At maturity it has a wingspan nearly 10 feet across and weighs up to 20 pounds. The condor is often termed the largest North American land bird.
Another from 1967: Why have strict laws been passed relative to the California condor? Often termed the largest North American land bird, it is facing extinction. The most recent survey revealed that only 51 are left.
Along with another change in heading, to “Your News Quiz”, came a switch to a multiple choice format.
From 1968: Mrs. Lyndon Johnson dedicated our newest national park, on the coast of California. The park’s main purpose is to protect …..
a – redwood trees
b – rare California condors
c – unusual geysers and hot springs
Do you know the answer?
The Iowa City Press-Citizen carried a number of articles about the California condor, starting in 1901. Perhaps a future post will look at the timing of these articles, their contents, and the quiz questions.