The Andean Condor Sept 4, 2022 13:11:16 GMT -5
Post by Radrook Admin on Sept 4, 2022 13:11:16 GMT -5
The Andean Condor
The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is a giant South American Cathartid vulture and is the only member of the genus Vultur. Found in the Andes mountains and adjacent Pacific coasts of western South America, the Andean condor is the largest flying bird in the world by combined measurement of weight and wingspan. It has a maximum wingspan of 3.3 m (10 ft 10 in) and weight of 15 kg (33 lb). It is generally considered as the largest bird of prey in the world.
It is a large black vulture with a ruff of white feathers surrounding the base of the neck and, especially in the male, large white patches on the wings. The head and neck are nearly featherless, and are a dull red color, which may flush and therefore change color in response to the bird's emotional state. In the male, there is a wattle on the neck and a large, dark red comb or caruncle on the crown of the head. The female condor is smaller than the male, an exception to the rule among birds of prey.
The condor is primarily a scavenger, feeding on carrion. It prefers large carcasses, such as those of deer or cattle. It reaches sexual maturity at five or six years of age and nests at elevations of up to 5,000 m (16,000 ft), generally on inaccessible rock ledges. One or two eggs are usually laid. It is one of the world's longest-living birds, with a lifespan of over 70 years in some cases.
The Andean condor is a national symbol of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru and plays an important role in the folklore and mythology of the Andean regions. The Andean condor is considered vulnerable by the IUCN. It is threatened by habitat loss and by secondary poisoning from lead in carcasses killed by hunters. Captive breeding programs have been instituted in several countries.