The Andean condor is the largest scavenger in the world.
Also, it is the largest bird in the New World. They often grow to 1.35 meters in length and weigh 15 kilograms. The wingspan of this giant is very rarely less than three meters. The flight of a condor is fascinating. Perhaps that’s why the bird often becomes an involuntary hero of movies and TV series. There are other interesting facts about the condor.
This bird has long been known to man. Also, natives of South America have revered it as the embodiment of the Sun. They believed that the condor is the embodiment of strength and health. Now birds are not raised to the divine rank but still have a cultural meaning. They are painted on the coats of arms of Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, and Ecuador. We have collected for you the most interesting facts about condors.
7 facts about the condor
- They do not have feathers on their heads. The birds pluck them, but it is still unknown why they do it.
- The name of the bird comes from the Indian word Cuntur. In translation, it means “great wanderer”.
- They were first described back in 1553. But so far, ornithologists can not determine their position in the systematics.
- They are considered to be recognized longevity among birds. In captivity, they can live for more than 70 years, and in nature – 50.
- They prefer to live on high rocks, from which they can easily take off. On the ground, they have to scatter to get in the air.
- For some reason, they always eat the found carcass from the back. First, they take out the liver, then it is the turn of the other organs. They do not touch the bones.
- They do not hunt only in the mountains. They often take flights to the seaside, where they look for the carcasses of whales thrown ashore.
Top 3 most interesting facts about the condor
- The Andean people believe that a condor can carry a sheep or a child. This belief is reflected in Jules Verne’s book Children of Captain Grant. In fact, the paws of a condor are not suitable for grabbing and carrying prey.
- The Indians had a belief that the bones of birds help cure any disease. Because of this, they exterminated these birds, but fortunately, this did not take on a large scale.
- In addition to the Andean, there is also a California condor. Only its name is related to the South American congener. Now, the Californian species has practically disappeared.
Condor: natural enemies, the threat of extinction
The condor has no enemies in nature. These birds live on high rocks, where no predator can reach. They hatch their chicks in the crevices, where it is even harder to get to. On the contrary, the condors live in cooperation with birds of prey. Only a condor can tear the thick skin of an animal, and Indian vultures often use this, leading to its prey.
Condors suffer much more from humans. Farmers consider them pests and do not miss an opportunity to shoot or poison a bird. Now, such cases are decreasing, but some continue to hunt the representatives of this bird family. In many countries, it is a national symbol, and this protects it from total extermination.