The monster stood there facing us. Fierce eyes glared at us with a frightening confidence that it had us trapped. My wife and I shivered not just because of the biting cold that was brought upon by an enveloping fog that was rising from the sea a hundred feet beneath us, but because we are staring at the ugly bare-skinned countenance of the thing in front of us.
Although a deep ravenous cliff separated us from this huge unkempt creature, we dared not move. Behind us the roar of hurtling vehicles warned us of a most gruesome fate should we backtrack even by a mere foot or so. We held our collective breaths as the beast shifted its position and spread its gigantic wings. It leered at us once again then suddenly made a couple of flaps and vanished into the misty air.
The place was at the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) near Big Sur and we had just had an encounter with one of America’s rarest birds – the California Condor! Seeing this magnificent, albeit unattractive bird is an unforgettable experience of a lifetime. It is not unlike seeing Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” in person (or maybe, Grant Wood’s “American Gothic”?). And to be able to take pictures of the Condor, would be, shall I say, icing on the cake. Which is rather appropriate inasmuch as it was my wife’s birthday…so we had our cake and ate it too, metaphorically speaking.
Here I was in my precarious position between a cliff and onrushing traffic trying to photograph the condor.
To know more about this magnificent bird (#438 - the bar at the bottom of the tag indicates 400), please visit http://www.mycondor.org/
Please help support the condors - take a moment to visit the website dedicated to them:
For more (less frightening?) birding blogs and pictures, please visit:
23 hours ago