More cover birds: 1927-2010

This post presents images of the California condor from the covers of books. All of these books consider the condor but none are entirely focused on the species.

This collection of book cover images is not just about the artistic representation of the California condor. It is significant that images of the condor were selected for the covers of these books. Many other subjects relevant to each book’s content would have made for suitable covers.

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Canyon John

The April 1948 issue of The American Girl magazine features Margaret Leighton’s short story “The Legacy of Canyon John”. A California condor is the heart of this story and one can be seen in Roy Clinker’s accompanying illustrations.

Five years later, “The Legacy of Canyon John” was reprinted in a collection of short stories and with new art work by Robert Sinnott. This multi-volume story collection, edited by Marjorie Barrows, was titled The Children’s Hour (Spencer, 1953). Leighton’s short story is in volume 7: Favorite Mystery Stories.

In this post, I describe Leighton’s story (avoiding spoilers), show the condor illustrations of Clinker and Sinnott, and note how I found the two versions of “The Legacy of Canyon John”.

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Paintings by Hans Peeters

Hans Peeters is a scientist, author, and artist.

One of Hans’s scientific research articles is in my California condor bibliography. While that article concerns golden eagles, his findings lead him to an important recommendation concerning condors.

But this post is about Hans’s wonderful paintings of the California condor, including art that appeared in 2 books, on a postage stamp, and on the label of a wine bottle. My collection now includes both those books, the postage stamp, and a print of the painting for the postage stamp. Hans was kind enough to share digital images of his other condor paintings, and some of the back story, for this post.

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Illustrations & photos of habitat: 1880s-1990

Many images of the California condor also show their habitat in the background. We see condors soaring over mountains and the ocean, roosting in trees, and nesting in caves.

Habitat matters to the California condor. As part of his argument against capturing all condors for captive breeding, environmentalist David Brower wrote:

A condor is five per cent feathers, flesh, blood, and bone. All the rest is place.

In this post, I present images of just those places, the habitat, from a variety of sources.

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