National Geographic : 1954 Nov
614 Lacy Egret Plumes Adorn a 1910 Hat Ruthless gunners killed egrets by the thousands prior War I. This photograph of the period shows why the slain profitable-women were enthralled by a craze for bobbing their hats. But the Audubon Society began protecting egr a memorable legislative battle known as the "feather figh laws banning the traffic in wild-bird plumage (page 584) Allen is currently in the third year of a study S of the American flamingo.* is The purpose of each report has been to in- sI vestigate the life histories and special needs h of the birds and to find ways of increasing t their numbers, or at least of arresting their de cline. Much of what has been learned has resulted in practical action, at times even be- " fore the report was printed. 1 Our findings on the flamingo, for instance, stimulated the organization of the Society for B the Protection of the Flamingo in the Baha- R mas. That society now maintains wardens and equipment on the island of Great Inagua for the protection of the largest remain ing nesting colony of American flamingos. The National Audu bon Society protects flamingos in Yucatan jointly with salt works owners there on whose land the birds have their second largest nesting colony. Protecting California Condors The study on the California condor, conducted by Carl B. Koford and sponsored jointly by the Audubon Society and the University of California, re vealed, among many things, that "one man can keep a pair of con dors from the egg all night or pre vent the feeding of a chick for an entire day merely by exposing himself within 500 yards of a nest for a few minutes at one or two critical times of the day. Loud noises can alarm condors at dis tances of over one mile." Thanks to their size-about 20 pounds with a wingspread of nine feet-Koford found no difficulty in observing the birds from a dis tance of several miles. Nearly all the 60 remaining condors nest or roost in a portion of the Los Padres National Forest in California (page 590). Since Seidman their young are unable to fend for themselves for some 15 months, condors normally nest only every to World other year. Apparently only fighter was plumes on about five young are successfully ets, and, in raised each year. The number of t," it won each sex alive is unknown. About 20 are immature. Three years ago the Audubon ociety took a leading part in obtaining the suance of a public land order greatly re tricting entry into the nesting area. The eart of the area, in fact, was entirely closed oentry of any kind. A special warden, jointly * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: Flamingos' Last Stand on Andros Island," May, )51, and "The Pink Birds of Texas," November, 949, both by Paul A. Zahl; "Flame-Feathered Fla ingos of Florida," by W. A. Watts, January, 1941; Hunting with a Microphone the Voices of Vanishing irds," June, 1937, and "Shore Birds, Cranes, and ails," August, 1937, both by Arthur A. Allen.