Andean Condor

ANIMAL:
Andean Condor               Vultur gryphus

Type of Animal:
New World Vulture

Habitat:
Mountains, alpine areas, grassland, coastal mountain habitat, desert, coastlines

Location(s):
Andes Mountains from Colombia through Argentina down to Tierra del Fuego & very southern part of S. America, small pockets of Colombia/Venezuela border

Appearance:
Black w/ white feathers at neck base & white patches on wings, male larger than female (unusual for birds of prey) w/ neck wattle & large comb on head, both sexes have featherless neck/head, juveniles have grayish-brown coloration, blackish head/neck skin & brown ruff, male has dark brown irises, female has red irises, sharp curved beak on both sexes

Food/Diet:
Carrion, refuse, eggs, small birds, rodents, rabbits

Status in Wild:
Threatened

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & breeding centers. Reintroductions from zoos & breeding centers into wild.

Lifestyle:
Monogamous pairs, juveniles found in small flocks & adults form temporary flocks of up to 20 birds at large carcasses alongside juveniles w/ males being dominant. These flocks more prevalent outside breeding season. Only close social bonds between mated pairs, which are life-long. Survivor will take new mate.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Cock
Female-Hen
Young-Chick
Group-Flock/Condo

Weight:
Male-24-33 lbs
Female-18-24 lbs
Young-3 lbs

Gestation:
1.5-2 months 

Life Span:
55 years in wild, up to 70 years in captivity

Height:
Male-4 ft
Female-3.5 ft

Body Length:
Male-4 ft
Female-3.5 ft

Tail Length:
1 ft

Adults have no predators, raptors & foxes prey on young

One of the largest wingspans of any bird: males have wingspan of 10.5-11 ft, females around 10 ft.

Chick stays w/ parents for up to 2 years & becomes sexually mature at 5-7 years.

Threatened due to slow reproductive rate (they breed every other year & generally lay 1 eggs, will lay another if previous egg lost), hunting for sport, hunting for bones/organs to be used in medicinal purposes, persecution as perceived killers of young livestock, pesticide poisoning whether direct or indirect (many poisons were meant for mammalian predators & crop pests), collisions w/ power lines, & habitat loss.

Eggs laid on cliff ledges.

Fun Fact(s):
National symbol of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, & Chile.

Plays important role in folklore/mythology of many Andean cultures. Associated w/ sun deity believed to rule upper world in many of these cultures & was symbol of power/wealth. Has been represented in Andean art since approximately 2500 BCE.

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