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The California condor in the Pacific Northwest

January 1, 1973

The California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus), once found along the Pacific Coast from Baja California to British Columbia, had become very rare north of California by 1850. Koford (1953), summarizing information available on the species in the Pacific Northwest, tentatively concluded that birds seen in that area were wanderers from California, perhaps forced north in some years by food shortages. As support for his theory he noted that there were no records of fossil condors in this northern region, known occurrences there were all in winter, and only a few individuals seemed to be present at any one time.

Recently information has come to light that suggests the Pacific Northwest condors were permanent residents with a long history there. An Indian midden on the Columbia River near The Dalles, Oregon, has yielded a considerable number of California Condor bones, dating back thousands of years (Miller, 1957). A more recent, but still precaucasian condor bone was found in another midden in southwestern Oregon (Miller, 1942). These finds indicate the condors are not recent invaders from California.

Publication Year 1973
Title The California condor in the Pacific Northwest
Authors S.R. Wilbur
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title The Auk
Index ID 5221033
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center