I have always liked the sound of the term “dichotomous keys”. I have also long been fascinated by how these keys allow for the identification of living organisms via a series of paired choices. Dichotomous keys are forerunners of the digital age, where it is all about yes or no, 1 or 0.
While bird identification guides have largely abandoned dichotomous keys, they are certainly of historical interest and they continue to be essential for scientists. So here is a look at some dichotomous keys that include the California condor or its nest.
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Last year saw the publication of Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird by Katie Fallon (ForeEdge). While this book focuses on turkey vultures, there is considerable discussion of the turkey vulture’s close relative, the California condor. Here’s a review.
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A number of organizations have chosen the California condor, or the “condor” in general, for their insignia. Here I present some examples, all in the form of woven patches.
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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.
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The California condor has found its way on to beautiful postage stamps in recent years. Some of the condor images on these stamps are by prominent wildlife artists.
Continue reading “Postage stamps from around the world” →