Feathers

Jane Goodall, noted scientist and conservationist, is the author of Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink (Grand Central, 2009). This book includes a chapter about the California condor that ends as follows:

I have a legal permit to carry a twenty-six-inch-long wing feather from a condor. During my lectures … I love to take this by the quill and pull it, very slowly, from its cardboard tube. It is one of my symbols of hope and never fails to produce an amazed gasp from the audience. And, I think, a sense of reverence.

In this post I present photos, illustrations, and descriptions of the feathers of California condors.

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Century-old books for younger children

How was knowledge of natural history conveyed to children in the past? Books can provide insights into the nature of the “environmental education” available to our great- … -grandparents.

In this post I note 3 books for younger children. Only one of these refers specifically to the California condor. As is typical for the time, the other 2 refer to the “condor”, by which they mean the Andean condor. Even in the USA, the California condor was not as well known as the Andean condor a century ago. Nevertheless, I consider all 3 books here because they each take different approaches to conveying understanding to children.

01 Pictures and stories of animals for the little ones

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Yet another early-20th-century poem

In 1928, Harriet Williams Myers, then president of the California Audubon Society, authored a book in advance of the selection of California’s state bird. The book’s purpose is made plain at the start:

This booklet, concerning twenty-two birds that have been suggested as candidates for State Bird, was written to fill the demand of teachers, children, and others interested in participating in the vote, who were unable to dig out the information in books already published, and wished something simple and easily understood …

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