Protecting the California condor from extinction is about biology, right?
That is true only if you consider mathematics to be an essential part of biology.
This post notes 3 older examples of insights provided by mathematics into the plight of the California condor. These examples all date from the time when the condor’s future was especially bleak.
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Consider a 25 pound (10 kg) bird with 10 feet (3 m) of wings passing through the air. Is there a sound to be heard? What is that sound?
This post quotes 8 historical reports of the sound of the flight of the California condor.
Continue reading “The sound of flight”
Ornithologist and artist N. John Schmitt knows how to create detailed scientific illustrations. But he also produces simpler sketches that convey a remarkable sense of life. These sketches are full of the activity, energy, and intelligence of birds.
This post presents examples of both forms of Schmitt’s California condor art.
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California condors have a reputation for suddenly appearing and disappearing. Here are 6 reports of this phenomenon from the 1850s to the 1970s.
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In 1882, Albert Kellogg described the sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) as a “vast sylvan condor”. Such a lovely simile deserves a closer look.
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At the beginning of the 20th century, William Finley and Herman Bohlman, utilizing the best camera technology available at the time, produced remarkable black and white photos of the California condor. With their photos, Finley and Bohlman introduced a large audience to these great birds.
Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, Tim Huntington is producing exquisite color photos that bring viewers face-to-face with free-living condors. Huntington’s photos convey important and intimate details of the complex lives of California condors.
This post shows, first, a print by Huntington from my collection and then 6 of his published photos.
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There is little doubt that the California condor is with us today as a result of human management of the species. One critical component of this management has been captive rearing. In the most intensive form of captive rearing, humans take the role of condor parents starting when an egg is laid.
In this post I consider intensive captive rearing from a visual perspective. The photos (and an illustration) below “describe” the hands-on rearing process in a way that words cannot.
Continue reading “Baby pictures”