While searching for mentions of the California condor in books about the history of California, I happened upon a book concerning the exploration and colonization of California by Russians. This book started me on a bit of an expedition. This post is a report on what I have learned so far.
Among the reasons why California condors attract the interest of humans is the birds’ exceptional size. But don’t take my word for it. For this post I searched my bibliography for items with titles that refer to the California condor as big or large.
Together, these articles and books tell their own version of the story of condors and humans.
To my surprise, some articles published in the first half of the 20th century treat the California condor as a “game bird”. To me, that is a term applied to animals that are hunted for sport, food, or fur. What’s going on?
For this post, I note a trans-Atlantic, 19th-century scientific exchange involving a California condor.
Chemistry research provides scientific understanding that has been and continues to be essential to insuring the California condor’s survival. In this post, I offer a brief look at some of these contributions from chemistry.