Bald is Beautiful, especially when you have a 9-foot wingspan
California Condors are some of the most majestic and rarest birds out there. It's always a great honor to photograph them and now I feel honored yet again with the wonderful portfolio Arizona Highways just published of my condor shots. So many things came together for me to get these shots - access, lighting, timing and of course the presence of the birds which is never a given.
This is one of my favorite shots of all time - everything came together at once to make it happen. Check out those primary feathers - each is well over a foot long.
Get the August 2015 issue of Arizona Highways for the full page look at F1 getting his neck feathers tugged by another bird. Condors have a pecking order, though in this species the dominant birds are the ones getting their cheeks bitten and feathers tugged.
The top left shot was one of my cooler photo experiences. 54 kept flying straight at me until my lens wouldn't focus any closer then passed six feet over my head.
Thanks again to the crew at Highways for publishing these shots and helping bring attention to the cause of helping this noble bird back from the brink of extinction. To learn more about the Condor recovery program please visit the Peregrine Fund's website. Please consider helping out the condors with a donation. And as always you can help out my efforts to try and photograph all of the Arizona/Utah wild population by purchasing prints, Condor coffee mugs or even just some fridge magnets from this site. I'm working to get these shots which will be donated to the Condor recovery program to help create an adopt-a-condor program. This way people will get to see and know each individual bird they help support. Spending time with these birds, it becomes obvious that each has it's own quirks and personality. With public support and the continuing hard work of the biologists we hope that in the near future we'll all be able to see sights like this.
This is a young condor born in the wild and not yet touched by humans, hence the lack of ID tags and transmitters that get attached when the birds are annually checked for lead poisoning. Catching sight of an untagged condor is exceedingly rare. Let's make it common.
all photos ©John Sherman, please no reproduction without written permission
Awesome captures. Was a pleasure meeting you yesterday.
Great shots Verm.
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