Condors' Past, Present, and Future
History and Lives of Condors (HLC)
Environmental Aspect (Facts)
Condors can be a feast for your eyes if you're lucky enough to see them. They are the largest bird in all of North America. Their wingspan can reach an incredible nine and a half feet, lengthier than any other bird in the world. Their long wings allow them to fly as high as 15,000 feet! Their colors include white, black, and their head is usually a reddish purple. They are about three to four feet tall, and are expected to live about 60 years.
Unfortunately, condors are close to extinction. There were only two to three dozens of these birds around the 1970's. After many years of thriving on the planet, the population drastically declined. Many of these deaths were caused by poison ingestion and people illegally collecting condors' offspring before they are hatched (eggs). It's nearly impossible to reach the point where condors were in earlier times, one reason being that condors reproduce very slowly. They will breed when they are between six to eight years old, and only hatch about one to three eggs. People are putting efforts forward, as the condor population has grown to approximately 127 of these birds alive in the world.
Inspiration for the Program
Condors have taught Rick a lot about the life he is living. In a way, Rick looked up to condors, the way the would fly fascinated the young man. One day, he flied on a hang glider himself: "The edge of the cliff seemed to rush forward to meet him. He didn't hold back. This was his dream," (149). Rick's first experience of flying was very special to him because of all the dreams he had about doing it. Finally, he was able to live out his dream. Also, for the first time in his hard knock life, he was able to achieve something he really wanted to accomplish, which gave him happiness as well as hope.
Lon Peregrino is the man that introduced condors to Rick, and Lon has taught Rick a handful of lessons about life. He influenced Rick's life by teaching him about forgiveness, since their childhoods were so similar: "Look, I'm not one for giving advice, Rick, but you're a special case. You're so much like who I was, it's scary," (131). Lon didn't want Rick to make the same mistakes he made as a kid, so he changed his life by giving him advice. Rick would apply Lon's lessons later in the book and he is a completely different person: "I was only trying to survive, and I kept running into dead ends. But I don't feel like that anymore, thanks to this man," (225).