Hard boiled

In 1926, a new ornithological “journal” appeared. The Buzzard was published by the Cuckoo Ornithological Club of Los Angeles. I recently acquired the first 2 issues. Here’s a look.

The new publication was a spoof on the Condor, which was published by the Cooper Ornithological Club.

01 Front cover 1.1

The California condor is mentioned in the second issue, as part of what appears to be an inside joke:

02 Answers 1.2

The Buzzard included articles, such as this one from the second issue:

03 Article 1.2

The major concludes:

Mankind must take warning, and profit by the lesson. The Cowbird’s scheme is obviously the only way in which any form of life can succeed in the long run…. By having the young attended to by those who make a business of it, the rest of the race can be assured of days of progress and nights of peace.

Like “real” ornithological journals, the Buzzard included advertisements for books:

04 Advertisement 1.1

I am not sure why Mexico, Florida, and Ohio were singled out in this advertisement. But I can explain 2 other details. The South Moulton Company had recently published William Leon Dawson’s The Birds of California and there is a suburb of Los Angeles known as Eagle Rock.

Unlike its serious brethren, the Buzzard included a collection of jokes under the heading “Gag Garage”. Here’s one that reveals a topic on the mind of ornithologists of the day:

05 Gag garage 1.1

In its first issue, the Buzzard had some fun with the Auk, a “real” journal:

06a Instinct A 1.1
06b Instinct B 1.1

Finally, here’s the back cover of the second issue:

07 Back cover 1.2

If you are interested in reading the Buzzard, it may be found in the libraries of McGill University, University of Kansas, University of Michigan, and University of Oxford (I never joke about libraries that maintain collections of obscure publications).

For other condor-related humor, click on the Humor tag that is accessible somewhere on this screen (it depends on your device). To learn more about the Cooper Ornithological Club and the Condor, see these posts: Cover art from Cooper Ornithological Club/Society publications and More on art from Cooper Ornithological Club publications.