This is the 1st of 3 posts about a Swiss-Italian artist’s interest in the California condor during the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1967, an emaciated young condor was taken to the Los Angeles Zoo for rehabilitation. After receiving expert care, the condor was released into the wild but watched closely. The young bird did not thrive and the decision was made to recapture and provide a permanent home for the bird at the zoo.
The bird in question is, according to the studbook that lists every individual California condor on Earth, California condor #1.
But #1 is hardly a suitable name for “one of the most, if not the most, genetically valuable California condor in the world” – that’s according to Los Angeles Zoo Curator of Birds Mike Maxey, as quoted in the Fall 2016 issue of Zoo View magazine. That 3-year-old article also reported that #1 had so far fathered 34 chicks!
Condor #1 does have a “real” name but there is some ambiguity surrounding that name. Here’s the story.
In my search for information about the California condor, I never expected Johnny Cash’s name to appear. What is the connection between the country singer often called “the man in black” and the endangered species?
California condors are with us today because of the dedication and hard work of many people. To celebrate these individuals, here are pictures of just a few of them.
“Critic at Large” was the title of a regular column in the New York Times by Brooks Atkinson. Atkinson devoted some of these columns to the California condor. He also wrote about condors in magazines and books. Here is an appreciative look.