National Geographic : 1954 Nov
590 Carl B. Koford Rare California Condor Spreads Majestic Pinions Above Its Cliffside Perch A century ago condors were seen from the Columbia River to southern California. Today they inhabit only a narrow, isolated area in the Golden State's mountain fastnesses. Slow to reproduce and extremely wary, they adapt with difficulty, if at all, to man's encroachment. Recently the Audubon Society and the University of California sponsored a study of the huge carrion eater, whose nine-foot wingspread is larger than that of any other North American land bird (page 614). Carl B. Koford, who made the study, estimates the number of condors at 60, including young. He found that loud noises a mile distant alarm the birds, and one man in the vicinity can keep a pair of condors from the nest all night. Entry into the birds' breeding grounds is restricted, and the heart of the area is forbidden to all.