One of the largest birds of prey is Andian Condor. The representative of the animal world belongs to the family of American vultures and lives on the territory of the Andes and the Pacific coast of South America. A large bird flies perfectly and easily overtakes prey. Andean condors are on the verge of extinction in our time, because the government of the countries in which the bird lives has developed special measures to save animals.
Andean condor grows up to 135 cm long. The maximum weight of the birds is 15 kg. It is noticed that female animals are much smaller than males. A distinctive feature of condors is the head and large neck, on which there are practically no feathers. Bare patches of skin are pink, but they can also change depending on the mood and emotional state of the condor.
Andean condor males are easily recognizable by their unique «earrings», which are located on the neck, and a dark red crest (it looks like a growth).
Condors are quite expressive birds. They have black feathers and a distinctive white collar. Also on the bald head and wings there may be light specks. Due to the constant hunting of condors, the number of animals has declined sharply. In addition, a negative impact on the condition and livelihoods of birds has «offensive» civilization on the natural environment and environmental pollution.
Features of behavior
Andian Condor – Powerful bird with great muscular force. The flying predator holds its huge wings in the sky perfectly and can fly without waveing them, for about 30 minutes. The feathered representative of the animals carefully plans his flight, during which he uses upward streams.
In order to climb into the sky, the condor loudly claps his wings and trying to avoid overwork makes a flight from cliffs and rocks. The main advantage of the feathered is acute vision. This sensory body allows you to see prey at a huge distance. This species of birds differs in cleanliness, therefore, at the first opportunity, it is accepted for cleaning the feathers. During the process, condors destroy parasites, as well as particles of decomposed food. To avoid infection with fungal infections, birds defecate on their feet. The composition of waste products contains uric acid, which kills pathogenic microflora.
Condor hunting starts early in the morning. If the weather conditions are unfavorable, the bird may even refrain from flying. Members of the American vulture family lack a vocal organ.
Flying predators love to feast on ungulates, especially deer and horses. They also feed on carrion, dead fish, eggs, small chicks, carcasses washed ashore. Sometimes, in search of food, a condor can fly about 200 km. The meal is shared by several scavengers at once. They start the feast from the eyes, tongue, genitals of prey. At one meal, the Andean condor can eat up to 5 kg of meat.
It takes about 5-6 years for a condor to reach puberty. An amazing feature of animals is their monogamy – birds pair up once and for all. It takes up to 2-3 years for condors to win a female, start a family and raise offspring. The female lays one to two eggs with a bluish tint, their size reaches 280 g. Both parents incubate the clutch. The baby is fed twice a day. If there are two cubs in the clutch and one of them did not hatch, then the parents lose all interest in it. It is believed that the second egg is needed «in reserve».