Condors Fundraiser: Big Sur Bash

Feathers in Flight supports the beautiful birds in numerous ways.

BIG SUR... offers so many pleasures that are simultaneously ethereal and earthly it is hard to know where to begin making a list. There are those bluffs and cliffs, the ones made of terra firma, the ones that also look as though they sprung from some sort of fantasy novel. It has redwoods, trees that stand before you, and yet their skyward reach seems impossible. And the California condor, a common but uncommonly beautiful sight, is a known Big Sur resident. This bird, too, is of our planet, but condors, with their size, their soaring abilities, and how they've come back from dwindling numbers, also could be both of this plane and of some mythological land, too. Of course, just because condors now number well into the 400s doesn't give any supporter a sigh of relief (there were but 22 in the mid-'80s). There is still work to do on the preservation front, and via programs that help the condors thrive in the wild. That's where...

FEATHERS IN FLIGHT... comes in, the annual Ventana Wildlife Society condor fundraiser. It alights on the nearest branch — or, rather, at Rancho Grande in Big Sur — on Saturday, Oct. 8, with a live auction, tunes played there, and views that could easily earn the handle "sweeping." The afternoon event also features "(u)nique condor-themed gifts," so if you're a maven of these mega vultures, you'll find a few items you may want to purchase. Tickets are $90 and the auction goodies are plentiful, including an overnight at Post Ranch Inn (that includes breakfast at Sierra Mar, a spot with huge windows and frequent condor sightings). Can't make the feathery fundraiser? Ventana Wildlife Society regularly leads tours to spots where these noble beasties congregate. Or, rather, spots where they might be observed, from a respectful distance. Your tour ticket, too, helps the arc of the condors' shared story, one that is still being told by those who work on their behalf, the birds' many fans, and, of course, the condors themselves.

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