The Cooper Ornithological Club was founded in 1893, taking its name from ornithologist J. G. Cooper. In his history of the organization’s early years, Harry Swarth makes clear that the club’s focus was the birds of California.
The organization has published its own journal regularly since January 1899. Beginning with the January 1900 issue, the journal’s name became The Condor.
An image of the California condor was featured on the cover of most of the club’s publications from the beginning. Even as the Cooper Ornithological Club became the Cooper Ornithological Society and the organization’s focus broadened to include more than just California’s birds, an image of the condor has continued to grace the cover of most of the society’s publications.
However, the view of the condor portrayed on these publication covers — from 1899 to the present — has changed. As discussed below, this change parallels the evolution of ornithology as a science.
First though, in chronological order, here are images of the cover art.