RETURN OF THE MIGHTY CONDOR
Oils on curved canvas
One of the all-time great American landscape themes – Horse Shoe Bend.
Referred to as the “east rim of the Grand Canyon, Horse Shoe Bend is a ¾ mile hike from Page, Arizona. The hiker’s efforts result in one of the most spectacular views on the Colorado River, 4 miles south of the Glen Canyon Dam.
The growing population of the Californian Condors have found their way to Horse Shoe Bend. California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) are an ancient species whose population can be traced back 1.65 million years ago.
They are one of the world’s largest and rarest birds, with a wingspan of 9 to 10 feet and weight of up to about 25 pounds. Concern for the species led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list it as endangered in 1967.
By the early 1980s, the range of the species was limited to a small area of Southern California.
Modern destruction of habitat, lead poisoning, and poaching reduced the California condor population to 22 in 1982. 50 years on, in 2008, thanks to dedicated conservationists, for the first time since the re-introduction program began, more California condors were flying free in the wild than in captivity.
Today there are nearly 500—more than half of them flying free in Arizona, Utah, California, and Baja Mexico.