Rocket girl

The successful new movie Hidden Figures brought to mind a recent book, Rocket Girl: The Story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America’s First Female Rocket Scientist.

The California condor makes unexpected appearances at the beginning and end of this story. Here are some excerpts from the book.

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Bozo the killer

The feature-length silent film The Night Cry premiered in 1926. The star and hero of the movie was the famous dog Rin Tin Tin, who had top billing. The villain was a California condor, who received no acknowledgment by name or photograph in the movie’s credits or on the movie’s poster.

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The beginning of Baird’s catalogs of birds

Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887) was a distinguished zoologist, educator, and scientific administrator. He served as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1878 until his death.

Baird’s last major publication was A History of North American Birds, 3 volumes that were co-authored with Thomas Brewer and Robert Ridgway. The entry for the California condor is in the last volume and includes this illustration by Edwin L. Sheppard of a condor chick:
01 BBR 1974 - chick
“BBR”, as this book is sometimes known (the initials of the authors’ last names), was published in 1874. It is the end of a string of comprehensive works about birds by Baird. In this post I present what appears to be the beginning of that string.

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