Condor is the name for two species of bird in one of the vulture families. They are the largest flying land birds in the Western Hemisphere. The South American Condor (Vultur gryphus) inhabits the Andes mountains. The California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) inhabits the western coast of the United States. Although they are primarily scavengers, feeding on carrion, these species belong to the New World vulture family Cathartidae, related to storks and not closely related to Old World vultures, which are in the family Accipitridae along with hawks, eagles and kites. Condors usually measure about 1.2 m (4 feet) from the point of the beak to the extremity of the tail and 3 m (10 feet) between the tips of its wings, and can weigh over 13 kilograms (30 pounds). Although other birds may have larger wingspan, the wing chord of the condor (distance from leading to trailing edge of wing) is exceptionally large, resulting in a very large total wing area, an adaptation for soaring.













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The adult plumage is of a uniform black, with the exception of a frill of white feathers nearly surrounding the base of the neck and, especially in the male, large patches or bands of white on the wings which do not appear until the completion of the first moulting. As an adaptation for hygiene, the head and neck have no feathers, exposing the skin to the sterilizing effects of dehydration and ultraviolet light at high altitudes, and are meticulously kept clean by the bird. The head, which is much flattened above, is in the male crowned with a caruncle or comb, while the skin of the neck in the male lies in folds, forming a wattle.

Above Images Are From The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service






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