When I began my study of old publications about birds, I noted that numbers often accompanied the scientific and/or vernacular species names of bird species.

The most-commonly encountered species numbers are those created by the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU) in the late 19th century. In this numbering system, the California condor is 324.

Here is some bibliographic history of species number 324.

Continue reading “324”

Code names

Assigning code names to bird species sounds like a good idea. Code names are a sort of short hand that can save space in field and lab notebooks, and facilitate using computers to analyze data.

To be helpful, codes names should be easy to remember and unique for each species being considered. For example, a field researcher working in North America doesn’t need distinct codes for penguins. But a lab researcher in North America might need distinct codes for penguins.

Of course, there is more than one way to assign a code name for a bird species. Here are some of the code names that have been assigned to the California condor.

Continue reading “Code names”

Reviews of Carl Koford’s 1953 report

In 1953, the National Audubon Society published its Research Report No. 4. Titled The California Condor and written by Carl B. Koford, this book was the 1st detailed scientific study of Gymnogyps californianus.

This post is not about the contents of Koford’s report. Rather, I provide selections from published reviews of the report. These reviews make plain the significance of Koford’s research and provide a sense of how experts responded to Koford’s findings.

In between the reviews I show some photographs and diagrams from the report (note the shadows!).

Continue reading “Reviews of Carl Koford’s 1953 report”