Scientific Name: Vultur gryphus
Status: Near Threatened
Habitat: High elevations in the Andes Mountains from Venezuela and Colombia to Patagonia and Peru
Length: 43–50 inches
Wingspan: 10 feet
Weight: 33 pounds
With a wingspan of ten feet, the Andean condor is one of the world’s largest flying birds. Vultures are masters of air currents and heat thermals. Andean condors have been documented traveling up to 150 miles a day in search of food.
Since they are carrion eaters and do not need to kill prey, condor feet are not as strong as other raptors and lack lethal talons. Condors do not vocalize as other birds of prey do, instead making soft sounds (hissing and grunting) to communicate with one another.
The Andean condor is the national symbol of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. The condor also plays an important role in many indigenous human cultures found in these countries who consider it a sacred bird.