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Condor: to the brink and back-- the life and times of one giant bird

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The California condor has been described as a bird "with one wing in the grave."

Flying on wings nearly ten feet wide from tip to tip, these birds thrived on the carcasses of animals like woolly mammoths. Then, as humans began dramatically reshaping North America, the continent's largest flying land bird started disappearing. By the beginning of the twentieth century, extinction seemed inevitable.

But small groups of passionate individuals refused to allow the condor to fade away, even as they fought over how and why the bird was to be saved. Scientists, farmers, developers, bird lovers, and government bureaucrats argued bitterly and often, in the process injuring one another and the species they were trying to save. In the late 1980s, the federal government made a wrenching decision — the last remaining wild condors would be caught and taken to a pair of zoos, where they would be encouraged to breed with other captive condors.

Livid critics called the plan a recipe for extinction. After the zoo-based populations soared, the condors were released in the mountains of south-central California, and then into the Grand Canyon, Big Sur, and Baja California. Today the giant birds are nowhere near extinct.

The giant bird with "one wing in the grave" appears to be recovering, even as the wildlands it needs keep disappearing. But the story of this bird is more than the story of a vulture with a giant wingspan — it is also the story of a wild and giant state that has become crowded and small, and of the behind-the-scenes dramas that have shaped the environmental movement. As told by John Nielsen, an environmental journalist and a native Californian, this is a fascinating tale of survival.

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ISBN:
9780060088620
9780061740640
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDd8dbe232-bda3-e056-6f29-15209d098f11
Grouping Titlecondor to the brink and back the life and times of one giant bird
Grouping Authorjohn nielsen
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2021-02-28 03:09:43AM
Last Indexed2021-02-28 04:43:11AM
Novelist Primary ISBNnone

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value0
accelerated_reader_reading_level0
authorJohn Nielsen
author_displayNielsen, John
available_at_catalogSacramento Room
detailed_location_catalogSacramento Room
display_description

The California condor
has been described as a bird
"with one wing in the grave."

Flying on wings nearly ten feet wide from tip to tip, these birds thrived on the carcasses of animals like woolly mammoths. Then, as humans began dramatically reshaping North America, the continent's largest flying land bird started disappearing. By the beginning of the twentieth century, extinction seemed inevitable.

But small groups of passionate individuals refused to allow the condor to fade away, even as they fought over how and why the bird was to be saved. Scientists, farmers, developers, bird lovers, and government bureaucrats argued bitterly and often, in the process injuring one another and the species they were trying to save. In the late 1980s, the federal government made a wrenching decision — the last remaining wild condors would be caught and taken to a pair of zoos, where they would be encouraged to breed with other captive condors.

Livid critics called the plan a recipe for extinction. After the zoo-based populations soared, the condors were released in the mountains of south-central California, and then into the Grand Canyon, Big Sur, and Baja California. Today the giant birds are nowhere near extinct.

The giant bird with "one wing in the grave" appears to be recovering, even as the wildlands it needs keep disappearing. But the story of this bird is more than the story of a vulture with a giant wingspan — it is also the story of a wild and giant state that has become crowded and small, and of the behind-the-scenes dramas that have shaped the environmental movement. As told by John Nielsen, an environmental journalist and a native Californian, this is a fascinating tale of survival.

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eBook
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isbn9780060088620
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itype_catalogAdult Book Non-Fiction
last_indexed2021-02-28T12:43:11.822Z
lexile_score-1
literary_formNon Fiction
literary_form_fullNon Fiction
local_callnumber_catalogSPE 598.92 N669 2006 CAL
owning_library_catalogSacramento Public Library
owning_location_catalogSacramento Room
primary_isbn9780060088620
publishDate2006
2009
record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical DescriptionAbridged
ils:.b17553982BookBooks1st ed.EnglishHarperCollins Publishers, c2006.x, 257 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., map, ports. ; 22 cm.
overdrive:3d88c44b-4ae0-43fb-b990-edbba4611f0eeBookeBookEnglishHarperCollins e-books2009
recordtypegrouped_work
scoping_details_catalog
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b17553982.i48855121Library Use OnlyLibrary Use Onlyfalsetruefalsefalsetruetrue
overdrive:3d88c44b-4ae0-43fb-b990-edbba4611f0e-2Available OnlineAvailable Onlinefalsetruetruefalsefalsefalse
subject_facetCalifornia condor
Condors -- California
Endangered Species Protection Program (U.S.)
Special collections -- Sacramento Public Library
title_displayCondor : to the brink and back-- the life and times of one giant bird
title_fullCondor : to the brink and back-- the life and times of one giant bird / John Nielsen
Condor To the Brink and Back--The Life and Times of One Giant Bird
title_shortCondor
title_subto the brink and back-- the life and times of one giant bird
topic_facetCalifornia condor
Condors
Nature
Nonfiction
Sacramento Public Library
Special collections