The official state bird of California is the California quail, a fine representative for the state. The California quail was chosen, in the late 1920s, by a state-wide, albeit, unofficial vote. Among the top candidates for state bird was the California condor. Here’s the story.
For this, the 100th post to this blog, I present 10 early illustrations of the California condor from books, academic journals, and popular magazines.
Publications concerning the California condor have sometimes been about seeking, rather than conveying, information. This post includes some examples that reveal more of the human-California condor saga. They are presented in chronological order.
A recent post listed a number of headlines from the Los Angeles Times that began, literally, with some number of individual California condors. In this post are headlines, again from the Los Angeles Times, that report the total number of living condors through time.
From the 1980s, here are news photos of some of the first California condors hatched in captivity.
We now know that California condors can be bred in captivity. But humans gained this knowledge only in 1988 with the hatching of Molloko at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. This chick was the first California condor to be hatched from an egg produced by 2 captive parents.
Years of research had preceded Molloko’s hatching. But long before this successful research program began, there was an unsuccessful effort to breed California condors at the National Zoo in Washington DC.
Until about 25 years ago, opportunities to see California condors were few. The wild population was limited both in numbers and habitat. Not many zoos exhibited California condors and, during the middle decades of the 1900s, it seems no zoo anywhere had condors. By today’s standards, the available photographs and movies were of low quality.
As a consequence, most people who saw condors saw them in museums, as stuffed and mounted specimens in dioramas. The way to remember seeing these dioramas or to share the experience with someone who didn’t visit the museum was to purchase a postcard of the diorama from the museum gift shop.
Here are 6 such postcards.