male Andean condor

Andean Condor

Vultur gryphus

CLASS Aves | ORDER Cathartiformes | FAMILY Cathartidae

RANGE Andes Mountains in South America, from Venezuela to Tierra del Fuego, descending to sea level in Peru and Chile

HABITAT High mountains over open grasslands and alpine regions, lowland desert regions, and plains

DIET Carrion (dead animals)

MALE 24 - 33 lbs. FEMALE 17 – 24 lbs

3.2 - 4.2 feet

Up to 10.5 feet

56 - 62 days

1 egg

IUCN Status
Near Threatened
Andean condor male and female

Andean condors lack of feathers on its head, allowing them to radiate heat away from the body which keeps the birds from overheating.

The male has a very distinctive comb on the crown of the head and has yellow eyes. Females have bright red eyes.

Andean condor with wings spread

To conserve energy on these long flights, condors make good use of rising hot air currents called "thermals" to keep them aloft and reduce the need to flap their wings. Andean condors soar to heights of 18,000 feet, or almost 3.4 miles.

female Andean condor

These birds are threatened over most of their habitat. One contributing factor is due to local customs and traditions involving the use of bones and organs from the condor. Their low reproductive output makes them vulnerable to persecution by humans who believe they are a threat to their livestock.