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“Bringing the Condors Home”

Special Museum Exhibit on the California Condor

TerraFocus, the Ventana Wilderness Society (VWS) and the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, collaborated on a special condor exhibit for the Museum, located on the Monterey Peninsula in Central California.

The exhibit ran for five months in 2003. This was the most extensive museum exhibit to date on California condors and the condor recovery efforts. The exhibit was also the most popular ever to run at the Museum with attendance near 30,000.

NEWS... The Condor Exhibit has since traveled to other venues such as the University of California at Berkeley, PG&E in San Francisco and the National Geographic Theater at Hearst Castle.

About The Exhibit

“Bringing the Condors Home” tells the story of the decline and beginning of recovery of the California Condor, an endangered species. This is the story of human impact on the condor and the determined human efforts to save this magnificent bird from extinction.

The exhibit honors the efforts of the Condor Recovery Program to try to save the endangered California condor. The displays feature the work of the Ventana Wilderness Society, which manages a condor release site near Big Sur in the Ventana Wilderness, and a second release site at the Pinnacles National Monument in the Gabilan Range in Central California.

The original exhibit had a hands-on display of a video camera installed in the exhibit room which demonstrated the pan, tilt and zoom capabilities of the Condor Cam system. (See Condor Cam Demo to view images from a demonstration camera currently installed in the East Foothills of the San Francisco Bay Area.)

The exhibit showcases the photography of TerraFocus super-volunteer, Dave Monley. Included was a 360 degree panorama, big enough for the viewer to walk inside the circle arc. (Note that Dave's panorama photography is also featured at the top of each page of our website.)

The exhibit displays and collateral material were designed by the creative team at Aplin Uno Creative (AUC) headed by Kat Thomas. The exhibit text was researched and written by Sheila Foster of VWS. TerraFocus scholarship recipient, Phil McKenna, assisted Sheila with some of the writing. Sheila and Steve Bailey of the Museum directed the content.

Custom interactive condor computer games and quizzes were created and written by John Gillan and Ben Lehman, and were loved by kids and adults alike.

Lovely original illustrations were contributed by Alexander Cruz, Jr. A life size display gave visitors an opportunity to compare their height with the 9.5 foot wingspan of a condor.

Condor models were sculpted by James "Bud" Bottoms and produced by Decker Studios. A video loop of condors in the wild featured the videography of Bruce Reitherman.

Another favorite was the "Grandmother Chair", created by Marilee Flannery and Karinne Koford Bauer. It was a chair made to look like a condor with wings enfolding the seating area. An audio of a "grandmother condor" passed on advice important for young condors to know.

The project manager was Joan Hadden of TerraFocus. Dave Hadden was responsible for the interactive exhibits.



"Bringing the Condors Home" was originally on display from March August 2003 at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, located on the Monterey Peninsula in California.

Parts of the exhibit are now traveling.