Environment: New Day of the Condors

Two blessed events raise hopes for a dwindling California species

Their feathers are a funereal black, and their beady, deep red eyes stare out of bald, orange heads. Their great hooked beaks seem as fearsome as scimitars and can make mincemeat of the toughest carrion. As they soar overhead on wings that can extend more than nine feet, they look like oversize buzzards, which in fact is what they are. Yet, despite their ugliness, they have captured the fancy of animal lovers everywhere.

The reason for all the interest is an ornithological first: the birth...

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