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Condor A Disappointment

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If the visitor to f lio zoologioal gardens ■will malee his way to the vcltures' aviary, ha will find a condor of the Andes. When he seos the great somber plmnaged bird sittiag on the treo stump in the middle of a íiot too roomy cage, his first feeliug will probably be one of disappointment. Some of this disappointment must be put down to the highly exaggerated accounts of early writurs. Tho measuremont of 18 f eet has been given as the wing spread of a bird actually killed and t;iped. Darwiii siiot one in 1834 with a win.t! spresid of ï reet 0 inches, and it njeasfnreU 4 ic.e.t from beak to tail. The njeasnrements ot' one that feil to JBnmbóldt's gnoi tallypretty closely with these of the bird that Dar■win killed. Part of the diaappointnaent is uo doubt due to tho snrroundings. One has , ed vivid mental pui uros of the bird I tsailing at a great height without an effort, Boaring in gráoef al ciroles, or gliding down like Jightuing npón its prey. One seas it sitting with its head drawn down between its wings, and its plumage draggled, without sufficient spaco over which to ruu to gather momentum for a rise, or height éuongb to fly if it oould leave the gronnd. Sonietimes, from the top of its peroh, it atteropts to nse its wings, but its efforts result in failure. It was long snpposed that condors hunted by scent, but experiruonts have provecí that the seuse of Bmell in these birds is by no means koen. Thoy probably discover their food by sight, and the descant of one bird serves as a signal to ethers at a distance. A young condor is a íiiuch prettier object than an old oue. It is clothed eutirely in white down, and when it settles itself to sleep, with its feet bidden and its hoad tuckeil away, it looks like a fluffy white ball. The plumage of the adult is black, ■with a white ruff round the neck, and the quills have a white edging, whioh becoraes broader at each snccesaive molt-


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News