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Condor's Shadow

Witnessing a California condor – and its 9½ foot wingspan – in flight is an extraordinary experience. Unfortunately, it is also a rare one. Thousands of years before humans arrived in North America, this ancient bird flew uninhibited over the continent, but centuries of human activity eventually drove their numbers down dramatically – fewer than 30 birds were left by the late 1980s. In a gargantuan effort to save this icon of the American wilderness from extinction, the remaining birds were placed in captivity, where they were cared for and bred until a select number were released back into their natural habitat in the mid-2000s.

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