an endangered species saved

An almost mythical sight when spotted aloft its 10-foot wingspan, the odyssey of the California condor epitomizes man's impact on wilderness. It's an epic of allowing something majestic almost slip away, then loudly answering the mandate to recover it.

Today the condor again casts a wild shadow over the west, buoyed by the updrafts of those who answered the call of preservation.

Many challenges remain for the condor. The Condor's Shadow chronicles how a driven few are working against the odds to help the iconic species fly free once again. More >>

The Condor's Shadow

Featuring

  • Pitahsi entering her nest Pitahsi entering her nest
    Condor 79, "Pitahsi" plays a lead role in the film's narrative
  • Myra Finkelstein Myra Finkelstein, Ph.D.
    Myra's research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, definitively connects the dots between lead ammunition and presistant health
    issues in condors
  • Condor 79 - Pitahsi Condor 79 - Pitahsi
    The oldest female California condor in the wild
  • Chandra David, Zookeeper Chandra David, Zookeeper
    At the Los Angeles Zoo with Condor 112
  • Handling condor Handling a condor for a health check
    The ongoing challenge of lead poisoning requires that California condors be trapped and tested routinely
  • 0 Biologist Joseph Brandt
    On rappel into a condor nest within the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge
  • Anthony Prieto Anthony Prieto
    A broad range of contributors to the California condor's recovery define the programs success.
  • California condor California condor
    Striking in appearance, the condor predates man's presence in North America
  • 0 Bruce Rideout, DVM, Ph.D.
    Comments in the film on the persistant threat of lead to the condor
  • 1 Biologist Blake Massey
    At the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge
  • 2 Sampling Feathers
    Research on environmental contaminents involves collecting feather samples from California condors
  • 4 Pre-release workup at LA Zoo
    Joseph Brandt works with keepers at the Los Angeles
    Zoo to prepare a condor for release into the wild
  • 5 Biologist Geoff Grisdale
    Field workup of a California condor at the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge
  • Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge
    Southern California release site for the California condor
  • Biologist Joseph Brandt Biologist Joseph Brandt
    Lead field biologist for the Southern California condor program
  • Zookeeper Michael Clark Michael Clark, Zookeeper
    Mike Clark has over twenty years of experience in the care and breeding of the California condor
  • Lead tester readout Lead Testing Device Used in the Field
    The primary source of mortality in California Condors is lead toxicosis
  • Condor Soaring California Condor in Flight
    There's nothing quite like watching condors soar...

Hundreds of individuals have contributed to the recovery of the California condor. Just a few who have a role in the Southern California recovery effort are featured in The Condor's Shadow. They and a feisty condor named "Pitahsi" provide a window into what endangered species recovery looks like for the rarest of North American birds.   
More >>

Film Clips

Ria Bonner on condor nest observation.

Additional Film Clips >>

California Condor Timeline

Infographic with California Condor timeline (Click here to enlarge) (Click here to buy)
14"x 56" Infographic Poster printed on 10mil semi-gloss stock. $42 + Shipping.


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Scheduled Screenings

Condor, Film & Friends

Museum of Ventura County
Meet Dolly, the 3 yr. old Ambassador California Condor with her keepers from LA Zoo Condors. Followed the film The Condor's Shadow and Q&A

Dolly the 3 yr. old California condor

When: November 9, 2014
Time: 2:00-5:00 PM
Where: Museum of Ventura County
100 E. Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001
Tickets: $5 Adults, $3 Seniors,
$1 Children over 5, Under 5 free
Post-Screening Q & A: Joseph Brandt, USFWS Condor Biologist, Mike Clark, LA Zoo Condor expert & Filmmaker Jeff McLoughlin

Santa Monica Bay Audubon
When: December 2, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Where: Christine Emerson Reed Park Meeting Room, Santa Monica, CA
Tickets: Free & Open to the Public
Post-Screening Q & A: Filmmaker Jeff McLoughlin

Host a Screening!

Groups that share our affinity for the California condor are invited to host a screening of The Condor's Shadow in their community. Screening events can be independently sponsored or arranged through the magic of Tugg Tugg.
Where possible we attend to participate in Q&A sessions to help raise awareness of the challenges that remain for the condor and other birds. Here is a partial list of past screening venues.

Upcoming Broadcasts

Television Broadcasts:
PBS SoCal_Plus
When: Fall, Winter 2014
Where: Greater Los Angeles Area on Time Warner, Ch. 235, Orange County and Palos Verdes on Cox Cable, Ch. 810, Ventura and portions of LA on Charter, Ch. 314. LA/OC/Riverside on Verizon FIOS Ch. 470 and over the air.

KQED San Francisco
When: Fall, Winter 2014
Where: KQED 9, San Francisco Bay Area
Audubon California Broadcast sponsor: Audubon California

The Condor's Shadow tells one of
the great conservation stories of
the last century and also presents the scientific challenges of endangered species restoration in a human context accessible to all viewers.

Mark Madison, Ph.D.
U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service Historian
National Conservation Training Center
American Conservation Film Festival Selection Committee Chair

Buy the Film on DVD

Buy the Condor's Shadow on DVD

The Condor's Shadow DVD is available to educational organizations through Dark Hollow Films.


Social Media

Captures the interplay between science and human values, along with the dedication and passion of the scientists involved with conserving this iconic species.

John D. Perrine, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Biological Sciences
California Polytechnic State University