In April of 1987 the last wild California condor was captured and taken to live in captivity like the other twenty-six remaining birds of its kind. Many thought that the days were over of of this remarkable, distinguished bird that had roamed the skies of North and Central American for thousands of years.
Sy Montgomery employs her skill for on-the-ground reporting, shrewd observation, and stunning narrative prose to detail the efforts of scientists, volunteers, and everyday citizens to get California condors back in the wild. In particular, Montgomery profiles employees at the Santa Barbara Zoo who have worked tirelessly to raise abandoned chicks, nurse sick birds back to health, and conduct research that can support legislation to ban what is probably the largest threat to the existence of the wild condor: lead bullets. In turns affectionate and frustrated, hopeful and heartbreaking, Montgomery’s powerful prose does justice to these ancient, sociable, and elegant creatures.
Complete with world-class, full-color photography and helpful sidebars that provide details such as the history of the bird’s fight back from extinction, the dangers of lead poisoning, and the relationship of condors to the Chumash nation, Condor Comeback is an inspiring story of groundbreaking science, perseverance, and cooperation.
Scholastic Reading Counts
Condors, the largest birds in North America, are in danger. Zoos and condor conservationists are fighting to stop their population numbers in the wild from dwindling and to keep their natural habitats from shrinking. While scavengers might get a bad rap, this book explains the need for condors in the ecosystem, as well as the efforts to save them. Like many of Montgomery’s nonfiction titles in the series, this recent entry does an excellent job of incorporating facts and narrative information about an animal not typically covered in stand-alone titles. The engaging call-to-action message is paired with gorgeous photographs that immerse readers in the condors’ world. Each chapter describes a different aspect of condor conservation, including the care and upkeep of baby condor chicks and how to train children to be the next generation of conservationists; also found here are many harrowing stories of how scientists have protected these majestic birds. A historic time line of condors, an epilogue about some of the condors featured, a list of what readers can do to save these birds, a bibliography, further reading, and an index are included. This worthy addition to elementary and middle school nonfiction collections spotlights the plight of a misunderstood bird.