826 alerts

About 5 years ago I setup a “Google alert” to let me know of news concerning the California condor. If there is any news over a 24 hour period, it is gathered up and sent to me by email at 7:30 a.m.

I have saved these alert emails so it is easy for me to search their contents. Here’s a report of what I learned from some searching.

First, some details.

The results below are based on the 826 alerts that I received starting on 22 May 2014 and ending on 21 May 2019. This date range includes 1826 days (including the one leap year). (What a meaningless delight that I did not receive alerts on exactly 1000 days during that 5 year period.)

Each alert consists of one or more news items (2 or 3 seems to be typical). The sources for these items include not just traditional news media, but also occasional press releases from businesses and non-governmental organizations, some blog posts, and the like.

Because I did not setup my search with quotation marks around California condor, I receive a few alerts having nothing to do with the bird. For example, an alert might refer to a company named condor that is doing business in California. Such anomalies are not common.

So what did I find?

I started by searching for states where California condors might be found. Here’s the number of alerts followed by the state:

83  arizona
58  oregon
53  utah
25  “new mexico”
16  idaho
14  colorado
4  wyoming

(I use quotation marks to indicate when I was searching for specific phrases.)

Next, I searched for particular places:

51  “big sur”
45  pinnacles
34  zion
31  “grand canyon”
29  “los padres”
10  sespe
9  hopper
5  bitter
4  baja

So the condors in central California are getting the most attention. (The one result for sisquoc was about the individual bird with that name, not the Sisquoc Condor Sanctuary.)

I expected that condor reproduction would be newsworthy and wasn’t disappointed:

106  chick
76  nest
58  hatch
42  egg
31  mate
22  baby
13  fledg

(The search for fledg was intended to find fledgling, fledged, etc.)

Next are results for terms that I associate with condor life:

49  soar
28  cave
13  sky
12  tree
12  deer
11  carcass
10  roost

(Be aware that a result for soar could be from a news item about a soaring bald eagle that mentions the California condor elsewhere in the item.)

I am interested in how the California condor is named and classified:

243  bird
52  vulture
16  raptor
11  “birds of prey”
18  gymnogyps
2  “californian condor”

The results for “californian condor” came from the Telegraph newspaper in the UK and the Hindu newspaper in India.

Concern about lead ammunition and the California condor has been of considerable recent interest. Here are results of relevant searches:

164  lead
61  hunt
59  ammunition
28  bullet

(Be aware that some of the results for lead may not have been about the metal.)

California condors are still with us because of science and management. Here are the results of searches to identify news associated with these activities:

138  count
127  zoo
89  scien
88  biolog
87  recover
74  popul
61  environment
61  protect
60  habitat
27  monitor
24  research
24  study
51  captiv
16  museum
9  veterinar

Finally, here are results for important words that are often associated with the California condor:

297  wild
294  endanger
112  extinct
77  rare

I was heartened that results for wild were (barely) more prevalent than those for endanger. Perhaps the day will come when the California condor’s near extinction will be a distant memory and the birds will instead be thought of as fully wild creatures.

For more in a similar vein, start with the posts Ebb and flow and Free.