• Andean condors are massive birds, among the largest in the world that are able to fly.
  • Because they are so heavy (up to 33 pounds), even their enormous 10-foot wingspan needs some help to keep them aloft.
  • For that reason, these birds prefer to live in windy areas where they can glide on air currents with little effort.
  • Andean condors are found in mountainous regions, as their name suggests, but also live near coasts replete with ocean breezes and even deserts that feature strong thermal air currents.
  • These condors are mostly black, but males have a distinctive white “collar” around their necks and some white markings on their wings as well. Like their relatives, the California condors, Andean condors have bald heads.
  • Condors are vultures, so they keep their sharp eyes peeled for the carrion that makes up most of their diet.
  • They prefer to feast on large animals, wild or domestic, and in picking the carcasses, they perform an important function as a natural clean-up crew.
  • Along the coasts, condors will feed on dead marine animals like seals or fish.
  • These birds do not have sharp predator’s claws, but they will raid birds’ nests for eggs or even young hatchlings.
  • These long-lived birds have survived over 75 years in captivity, but they reproduce slowly.
  • A mating pair produces only a single offspring every other year, and both parents must care for their young for a full year.
  • The Andean condor is considered threatened but is in far better shape than its California cousin. Reintroduction programs are working to grow populations of these South American birds.