I was driving the coast highway near Big Sur, California, when I stopped dead in the middle of the road and cried. On the hillside in front of me perched an adult California Condor. I had been working for The Peregrine Fund where this extremely rare bird was being bred in captivity and the young released into the wild in northern Arizona. I was familiar with the birds we had in captivity, but this was the first condor I had seen in the wild. The Peregrine Fund and other conservation programs continue to release captive bred condors in several locations throughout the West. The condor population has grown from a low of 22 to nearly 500 birds. The plight of the condors is still on rocky ground due to the birds scavenging on animals shot with lead bullets. The birds are highly susceptible to lead poisoning. The California Condor is considered a “relic” species because the large population of condors was widespread in North America during the Pleistocene Epoch. Unlike the caveman, whose ancestors have increased their population and range to extreme levels, the cave bird population and distribution decreased significantly after the last Ice Age with the extinction of the megafauna on which they fed, like woolly mammoth, giant ground sloth and saber-tooth cats. I titled my painting “Cave Bird” not just because the bird flourished during the Ice Age, but condors prefer to nest in caves on cliff faces.