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.
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.
As newspapers continue to sell off their collections of photographic prints, I have obtained more of these working documents for my collection. This post presents 10 news photos of California condors in chronological order.
Defenders of Wildlife News and its successor magazine, Defenders, reported regularly on the California condor in the decades prior to 1987, when all the condors were taken into captivity. During the 1980s, Defenders included some notable illustrations and photos.
I especially want to show 2 illustrations from this time period. But while I am at it, here also are a fine map and 2 noteworthy photos.
Color photos reveal the colorful side – mostly the head and neck – of the California condor.
The 12 excellent photos in this post show a California condor being a California condor (one of the photos shows a pair of condors). These photos deserve to be seen, not hidden away on bookshelves or in boxes.
Many images of the California condor also show their habitat in the background. We see condors soaring over mountains and the ocean, roosting in trees, and nesting in caves.
Habitat matters to the California condor. As part of his argument against capturing all condors for captive breeding, environmentalist David Brower wrote:
A condor is five per cent feathers, flesh, blood, and bone. All the rest is place.
In this post, I present images of just those places, the habitat, from a variety of sources.