#137 California Condor

Critically Endangered

These are the largest North American land bird. The Albatross can have a larger wingspan, but they are sea birds, so don't count I guess. They can fly 150 miles at a time, and up to 15,000 feet up. They live to be 60 years old in the wild, and mate for life. In 2017 a study showed that 54% of their fatalities were not due to predation or poaching, or even impacts (with wires, cars, or wind turbines), but from lead poisoning. They eat the remains of carcasses left behind by hunters who use lead ammunition. That is what kills them more than anything else. That wasn't historically quite so much their main problem. Poaching used to be a bigger trouble for them with collectors stealing their eggs, and people killing them out of fear. DDT was also a huge problem for them as it was for the Bald Eagle. Thankfully they are making a comeback. In 1985 there were only 9 left in the wild, and by 1987 when high amounts of lead were found in the system of the last breeding female, they were all caught to be used in captive breeding. Now there are close to 500 condors, with over half of them released to the wild. Oregon's Zoo helps play a part in that effort.

It is my anniversary today. Happy anniversary to me. I got very lucky to find my husband, he's patient, and stable in comparison to my flighty emotional self. I'd say the only problem is that he doesn't have my same sense of humour and occasionally probably is at risk of rolling his eyes so hard that they end up facing completely in the wrong direction. At least he seems to find it funny how hilarious I find myself to be. We only dated 9 months and then were engaged for 9 months, but we had been friends since 1991 when we met in University. I would talk to him about his roommate who I dated for a while, and another of his roommates who I never dated but insisted on proposing more than once to me. He is an introvert and I'm very much not, so I can make it easier on him when we are in social situations by being the talking buffer. He may be quiet, but he is brilliant and worth listening to when he talks. Sorry, going all romantic here.


All images © 2023 by Sara Jensen, do not copy.