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Andean Condor Vultur gryphus


Perhaps the bird that is the most evocative representative of the Andes, the Andean Condor embodies the enormous distances and heights of the longest mountain range in the world. Its range formerly stretched the length of the Andes from Venezuela south all the way to Tierra del Fuego, but it is increasingly rare and local in much of the Andes north of Peru, and already is largely extirpated from northeastern Colombia and the Venezuelan Andes. Most at home in the rarified alpine air, the Andean Condor effortlessly plies the winds among some of the tallest peaks in the world in search of carcasses of large and medium-sized mammals such as guanacos (wild llamas) or domestic livestock. They also descend to the coastal desert plains of Peru and Chile to search for stranded whales, seals and seabirds. In particular, condors will congregate at large seal colonies during birthing where they feed on the placentas of recently born young.

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Recommended Citation

Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: