The Condor

May 14th, 2008

The largest bird in the Americas is the Andean Condor, having a wingspan of sometimes more than 3 metres, or 10 feet, and weighing as much as 15kg.

Black in colour, the have a white band around the neck, and white feathers on the wings if they are adults. Their heads are featherless and are red or black, changing colour according to emotional state. They can live for up to 50 years.

Condors are scavengers the feast on the meat of dead animals, particularly large ones. In ancient times this would mean eating llamas and other camelids, but today they are more likely to find dead cows and sheep. They have large territories and can travel as far as 200km in search of food.

Too large to fly under their own power, Condors must use rising thermals in the air to glide to their destinations. This means if the air is not right, they don’t venture out.

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