An Andean Condor at South Lakes Wild Animal Park,
Dalton-in-Furness, UK © theanimalfiles.com
An Andean Condor Feeding at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Dalton-in-Furness, UK © theanimalfiles.com
Andean Condor Range Map (South America)
Andean Condor in flight
Andean Condor in flight
| Latin Name
| Conservation Status
||Black & White
||1 - 1.3 m (3.25 - 4.25 ft)
||2.7 - 3.2 m (8.9 - 10.5 ft)
||11 - 15 Kgs (24 - 33 lbs)
| Life Expectancy
||Up to 50 Yrs (in the Wild)
Up to 80 Yrs (in Captivity)
Andean Condors are large South American birds and they are the only member of the genus Vultur. They have a body length between 1 and 1.3 m (3.25 - 4.25 ft), a wingspan between 2.7 and 3.2 m (8.9 - 10.5 ft) and they weigh between 11 and 15 kgs (24 - 33 lbs).
They have black and white plumage with distinctive flight feathers that spread out like fingers when in flight. Males are larger than females which is unusual for birds of prey. Both sexes have bald heads but most males also have a white ruff at the base of their necks.
Andean Condors have the largest wingspan and area of any land bird and because of their immense size they rely on updraughts from mountains and coastal cliffs to remain in the air. Due to these updraughts they can travel huge distances with only the occasional flap of their wings.
Andean Condors inhabit the mountainous areas of western South America. They prefer areas with wide open spaces and they roost and nest on cliff faces, small rock ledges or in caves. They can be found at elevations up to 5,500 m (18,000 ft).
Andean Condors mainly feed on carrion and they soar at altitudes up to 5,500 m (18,000 ft) when searching for food. Not only do they feed on the remains of mountain animals, they also feed on seals and whale carcasses. In some areas they will also feed at seabird colonies, stealing large numbers of eggs.
Andean Condors form life long pairs and they breed once every 2 - 3 years depending on the quality of their habitat and the availability of food. The breeding season is generally between February and June, although this can vary depending on their geographical location.
Most Andean Condors do not build a nest and a single egg is laid on a bare, cliff ledge. The egg is bluish-white in colour, it weighs around 280 g (9.9 oz), and it is between 7.6 and 10.1 cms (3 - 4 inches) in length. The egg is incubated by both the male and female and it hatches after 54 - 58 days.
The chicks are tended to by both parents until they fledge at 6 - 7 months old. The fledglings remain with their parents for 2 years or until they breed again. They reach sexual maturity between 6 and 11 years of age.
Adult Andean Condors have no natural predators, however chicks are preyed upon by birds of prey and foxes.
There are no subspecies of the Andean Condor.
The Andean Condor is a new world vulture.
The Andean Condor is the national symbol of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
It is the national bird of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.
The Andean Condor has featured on many stamps, coins and bank notes and it is featured in the coats of arms of several Andean countries.