Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"California Condor"
Includes ... California Condor ... Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation ...
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


California Condor ...
"The spectacular but endangered California Condor is the largest bird in North America. These superb gliders travel widely to feed on carcasses of deer, pigs, cattle, sea lions, whales, and other animals. Pairs nest in caves high on cliff faces. The population fell to just 22 birds in the 1980s, but there are now some 230 free-flying birds in California, Arizona, and Baja California with another 160 in captivity. Lead poisoning remains a severe threat to their long-term prospects. ...

Condors are masterful soarers that rarely flap their wings. They have a solid, heavy appearance in the air, and donít get buffeted by the wind in the way that smaller soaring birds do. Condors are social birds that form groups around carcasses, at bathing spots, and at roosts.

California Condors scavenge for carrion in habitats ranging from Pacific beaches to mountain forests and meadows. They nest in caves on cliff faces in mountains up to 6,000 feet in elevation. Their size makes take-off difficult, leading them to use high perches for easier take-offs. ...

One reason California Condor recovery has been slow is their extremely slow reproduction rate. Female condors lay only one egg per nesting attempt, and they donít always nest every year. The young depend on their parents for more than 12 months, and take 6-8 years to reach maturity."


Source:    Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 2017, "All About Birds".


Lewis and Clark and the California Condor ...
From the Journals:

  • Weather diary, October 29, 1805, Columbia River above the Little White Salmon River:
    "... rained moderately all day. Saw the first large Buzzard or Voultur of the Columbia. ..."

  • Clark, October 30, 1805, near the Cascade Rapids:
    "... this day we Saw Some fiew of the large Buzzard    Capt. Lewis Shot at one, those Buzzards are much larger than any other of ther Spece or the largest Eagle white under part of their wings &c. ..."

  • Ordway, October 30, 1805, near the Cascade Rapids:
    "... we Saw a great number of Swan and geese along the Shores. Some turkey bazzards which had white under their wings. Capt. Clark killed a black loon. ..."

  • Whitehouse, October 30, 1805, near the Cascade Rapids:
    "... we Saw a great nomber of Swan and geese, turkey buzzards which had white on their wings &c.    Capt. Clark killed a black loon. ..."

  • Clark, November 18, 1805, while on the Lower Columbia:
    "... Rubin Fields Killed a Buzzard of the large Kind ...    W. 25 lb. measured from the tips of the wings across 9 1/2 feet, from the point of the Bill to the end of the tail 3 feet 10 1/4 inches, middle toe 5 1/2 inches, toe nale 1 inch & 3Ĺ lines, wing feather 2 1/2 feet long & 1 inch 5 lines diamiter tale feathers 14 1/2 inches, and the head is 6 1/2 inches including the beak. ..."

  • Clark, February 16, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... Shannon an Labiesh brought in to us to day a Buzzard or Vulture of the Columbia which they had wounded and taken alive. I believe this to be the largest Bird of North America.    it was not in good order and yet it wayed 25 lbs    had it have been so it might very well have weighed 10 lbs. more or 35 lbs. between the extremities of the wings it measured 9 feet 2 Inches; from the extremity of the beak to that of the toe 3 feet 9 inches and a half.    ... [more description not included here] ...    we have Seen it feeding on the remains of the whale and other fish which have been thrown up by the waves on the Sea Coast.    these I believe constitute their principal food, but I have no doubt but that they also feed on flesh.    we did not meet with this bird un[t]ille we had decended the Columbia below the great falls; and have found them more abundant below tide water than above.    this is the Same Species of Bird which R. Field killed on the 18th of Novr. last and which is noticed on that day tho' not fully discribed then I thought this of the Buzzard Specis. I now believe that this bird is reather of the Vulture genus than any other, tho' it wants Some of their characteristics particularly the hair on the neck, and the feathers on the legs.    this is a handsom bird at a little distance.    it's neck is proportionably longer than those of the Hawks or Eagle. ...    Shannon and Labiesh informed us that when he approached this Vulture after wounding it, that it made a loud noise very much like the barking of a Dog. the tongue is long firm and broad, filling the under Chap and partakeing of its transvirs curvature, or its Sides forming a longitudinal Groove; obtuse at the point, the margin armed with firm cartelagenous prickkles pointed and bending inwards. ..."

  • Lewis, February 17, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... Shannon & Labuishe brought me one of the large carrion Crow or Buzzads of the Columbia which they had wounded and taken alive. I bleive this to be the largest bird of North America. it was not in good order ... [rest of text mirrors Captain Clark's February 16 writings].

  • Gass, March 16, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop:
    "... Yesterday while I was absent getting our meat home, one of the hunters killed two vultures, the largest fowls I have ever seen. I never saw any such as these except on the Columbia river and the seacoast."

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon ...

Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Display, California Condor, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon. Image taken October 6, 2011.
Image, 2011, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Display, California Condor, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon. Image taken October 6, 2011.
Image, 2013, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon,  click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Display, California Condor, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon. Image taken May 8, 2013.


Saving the California Condor

Condor Recovery ...
"The California condor was the first species to be listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1973. By 1987, the entire wild population had been reduced to 22 wild birds, which were taken into captivity to form the nucleus of today's California condor recovery program. The first birds were reintroduced into the wild in 1992."


Source:    "OregonZoo.org" website, 2017.

Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation ...
The Oregon Zoo's Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation is a 52-acre facility designed to limit human contact to maximize the young condors' ability to thrive in the wild once they are released. The Center was established in 2003 with six breeding pairs taking up residence. The first chick was hatched in 2004 and in 2006 the first Oregon Zoo Condor was released into the wild. The Center has space for 53 condors, including 11 breeding pairs.

Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


September 19, 2015 ...
The three barns with the bird enclosures is completely tarped off so the birds do not see humans. Folks must whisper only and be as quiet as possible.

Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


California Condors ...
California Condors have a wingspan of nearly 10 feet, with the bird being nearly 4 feet from top of head to tip of tail.

Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


Fuzz on bridge of nose is from something else, not a part of the bird.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


Fuzz on bridge of nose is from something else, not a part of the bird.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


Fledgling ...

Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fledgling, California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fledgling, California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fledgling, California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fledgling, California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fledgling, California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fledgling, California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


"Bachelor Male" ...

Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Bachelor male", California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


This male has yet to find a mate and lives by himself. His compound was in the shade, thus he had his neck feathers raised, warming his neck.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Bachelor male", California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


This male has yet to find a mate and lives by himself. His compound was in the shade, thus he had his neck feathers raised, warming his neck.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Bachelor male", California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


Some reflections from the window in the images.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Bachelor male", California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


Some reflections from the window in the images.


Breeding Pair ...

Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Breeding pair, California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


Feeding ...

Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Feeding, California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Feeding, California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Calf bones, California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


"Mom and Kid" ...

Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Mom and Kid", California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Mom and Kid", California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Mom and Kid", California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Mom and Kid", California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.
Image, 2015, Clackamas County, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Mom and Kid", California Condor, Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, Clackamas County, Oregon. Image taken September 19, 2015.


"Kid" was pulling leaves off the tree.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 30, 1805 ...





Clark, November 18, 1805 ...




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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 2017, "All About Birds";
  • "OregonZoo.org" website, 2017;


All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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November 2017