Thomas R. Dunlap’s excellent In the Field, among the Feathered: a History of Birders and Their Guides (Oxford University Press, 2011) describes how bird guides gradually improved over time. One important innovation was the development of place- or region-specific guides and checklists.
In this post, I note 7 such guides and checklists with an eye on the California condor.
Continue reading “Regional field guides & checklists: 1964-2009”
Sports Illustrated magazine has published several articles featuring or mentioning the California condor. In this post, I note and present photographs from a substantial article that appeared nearly 60 years ago.
Continue reading “Sports Illustrated”
The headline “Rare Condor’s Fall from the Sky Remains a Puzzle” appears in the Fresno Bee newspaper for 26 May 1965. The article explains:
The condor’s mysterious death was witnessed Sunday by G. B. (Jerry) Coigny … He said it was making low circles about 50 feet high when it stopped flying and plummeted to the ground.
Here’s the story, as told in a government report and other publications.
Continue reading “Explaining a mysterious death”
As I explore historical documents concerning the California condor, I am always delighted to read the reactions of those encountering a condor in the wild.
Below are 10 reports of sighting condors, all published in the 1st half of the 20th century.
Continue reading “Sighting reactions”
The exceptional size of the California condor can be described with numbers and words. But a picture is better.
This post presents illustrations comparing the size of the California condor to more-familiar animals.
Continue reading “Comparing sizes”
This post presents 7 illustrations from 6 books that are designed to guide readers in the identification of bird species.
Continue reading “Illustrations from bird guides: 1961-1990”
News from the Bird-Banders was a monthly newsletter first published in 1926. This publication of the Western Bird Banding Association was a venue for amateur and professional ornithologists to share information about their studies of bird movements and survival.
I will note the (limited) efforts to band California condors in a future post. In this post I share reports of condor sightings that appeared in News from the Bird-Banders in the 1930s-1950s. With one exception, these reports are excerpts from the minutes of meetings of the Western Bird Banding Association.
Continue reading “Sighting reports in News from the Bird-Banders”