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.
Facts About Condors
Condors are the largest flying land birds in the Western Hemisphere, but what exactly are they? It is an interesting question, and we’ll discuss this topic in more detail in a few paragraphs. First of all, the word condor refers to two species of New World vultures, each in its own monotypic genus. The word itself comes from the Quechua word “kuntur,” which means “to stand on top of.”
These amazing birds sit on their eggs for almost two months, and when they hatch, they grow rapidly. As a result, the parents have to work hard to feed the chick. Since condors can’t carry food in their feet, adults store food for their young in a crop. The crop is a pouch inside the throat that holds food before it is digested. The crop then regurgitates this food to feed the young chick.
In addition to their flight capabilities, California condors exhibit several unique traits. For example, they can change color to indicate their moods. These birds also don’t have vocal chords, so they communicate by forcing air through their bodies. When they are startled, they will regurgitate their stomach contents. Despite their impressive flying skills, they are quite small and will eat up to three or four pounds of meat at one meal.
While young California condors are covered in gray down, they begin practicing flying at around five months of age. They stay with their parents until they are two years old. They don’t reach adult plumage until they’re five to six years old. The first California condor arrived at the San Diego Zoo in 1929. It was donated by a Ventura couple. The bird was discovered with a broken wing in Ventura and was active for 10 years.
An adult California condor weighs about ten pounds. The Andean condor weighs about thirty-three pounds and is larger than the California condor. Its size is also greater than the California condor, and its flight is very fast. These two birds have a long lifespan, so it’s important to protect them. They live in the wild and in protected areas. A healthy female will spend approximately three years breeding in her life.
Despite their large size, condors don’t make much noise. In fact, the birds are silent. The first egg is only the first of three. Usually, the second and third eggs are removed from the female’s nest. Once the first one is removed, she will lay a second and third egg. If her first egg isn’t hatched, she will continue to lay a second and third egg.
The California condor is about 4 feet tall, and is a vulture. They feed on dead animals, and their necks and heads are covered with feathers. Their bodies have many bones, and the birds are very well-endowed for life at high altitude. If the California condor was the only condor in the world, it would be a species of great beauty. But it is still a threat to humans.
The California condor is protected under federal law. Its habitat includes open grasslands, canyons, and mountain ranges. Its habitat also includes the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The California condor is found throughout the United States, but its range is much smaller. They are only found in a few locations. The state condor is endangered in most of the Western Hemisphere. Its population is a declining number of these majestic birds.
The California condor’s range used to include all of British Columbia and Baja California. However, European settlers pushed westward, resulting in a reduction in the condor’s range. While they don’t hunt, they still have to travel far in order to find food. The only reason they are endangered is that they are not as common as they once were. The species has suffered a huge decline in its population due to habitat degradation, but its numbers are now increasing.
The California condor was the first condor ever bred in captivity. It was hatched on April 29, 1988. After a year of isolation, the two mated birds began their courtship process, which lasted for about a month. During this period, they spent most of their time together, scouting out potential nest sites. Once they’ve reached the right spot, they’ll copulate, and the mated pair will continue to do so for years.