The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) is a large South American bird in the Vulture family. It is a raptor and bird of prey.
The Andean Condor is black with a white ruff (collar) around its neck. Its face and neck are pinkish-red and nearly bald. Females have a bald blackish-red head and neck. It has a flattened head. Males have a dark carbuncle or comb on their head. It has white feathers on its wings. Its pale cream beak is strong with a slightly downward-curved hook, and its eyes are orange-brown. It has long sharp talons on its feet to grip its prey.
It measures 100-130 centimetres (39-51 inches) in length, with a wingspan of 320 centimetres (126 inches) across. It is the largest flying bird in the world.
The Andean Condor is native to the Andean Mountains and along the Pacific coast of western South America, in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. It is a coastal bird, and is not found too far inland.
It prefers open grasslands and alpine regions.
It is a scavenger, feeding on dead animal meat, called carrion. It prefers the dead body (carcass) of large animals, such as cattle, llamas, sheep, pigs, rabbits, and deer. Its predators include foxes.
The Andean Condor makes its stick nest high on rock ledges. Females lay 1-2 eggs, which hatch after 54-58 days. Both parents look after the egg. The chicks are born with down feathers and are able to fly after about 6 months of age.
It has an average lifespan of about 70 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM