Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day of the condor...

Sarah and I were returning from Big Sur on the Pacific Coast Highway last week when we spotted a group of large birds on the sea side of the road, just hanging out. Were they turkeys? No. They were California Condors. Sixteen of them. Just loitering like a group of deaf old men at a sweater convention, unphased by our presence. Every now and then, one would push another off the cliff and there would be an enormous flapping of wings so large they seemed to block out the sky for an instant. We could feel the wind whipped up by those wings.

I'm not sure if you understand how strange this all was. Condors are so rare - it might as well have been sixteen pandas sitting there. Note how the guy on the right with the black head is tagged #01. He must have sold the most albums.

(photo by Paul Gachot)

1 comment:

Yadira said...

I love this photo! How close were you? You're absolutely right about how rare these birds are. There are only about 330 left. Half of those are flying free in California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico so to see them is even more unique than seeing a giant panda. Big Sur is one of the best places to see them along with the Grand Canyon. I was up there this summer looking for them myself. I was disappointed on day 1 but day 2 I got a great look at birds flying around and in the trees. Visit www.cacondorconservation.org to see blogs, photos and video of the trip to Big Sur and to learn more about this endangered species. Thanks for sharing!