In Search of the California Condor

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H.Hill and a 3-days-old chick.The marvelous footage of the endangered California Condor in this half-hour documentary was shot in 1945 with a 16mm Bolex motion picture camera by Telford H. Work, a 24-year old student at Stanford University Medical School. Accompanied by Albert Wool and Harold Hill, Work photographed condors for six months in the Los Padres forest, in an area now known as the Hopper Mountain Wildlife Refuge. They went to the nesting site every two weeks to monitor a condor chick, take its measurements, and document the progressive changes in size, feather cloak and head color. That proved to be a task, since condors nest in caves, in often secluded locations reachable only by rapelling. A very large, ungainly and, some think, unattractive, bird, the condor has been a part of southern California's history since the Pleistocene Age. Despite the progress made through captive breeding programs to prevent the extinction of this rare bird, the question nearly seventy years later remains: Will the condor survive in the wild?"


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