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Andean Condor

About Andean Condor

They breed every other year, in the spring time; they look for a mountain cave, or in a rock cleft. They have 1 egg and sometime, but it is rare, they will have 2. The eggs are incubated by both parents for 54-58 days.

This bird is the largest of all birds of prey, and it is one of the biggest of our flying birds. It is the unofficial bird of the Andes mountains. The Andean Condor can soar for hours around the cliffs. It has excellent eyesight and is able to see it prey from very great heights. It is always alert to what is going on with other birds and is always ready to join in with other scavengers as they go after their prey such as llamas or stray sheep and cattle. It can pick up on sick or wounded animals and will land and wait for the animal to die. Sometimes it will have to wait for a long time for the hide of the dead animal to start to decompose; its powerful hooked bill is like a butcher’s tool, but it cannot deal with a thick hide.

Sometimes a large group of condors feed together on large carcasses, gorging themselves to the point where they cannot take off from flat ground. Food is often not around in the mountains and they have to make the most of each meal they find. Although most of its food consists of carrion, the Andean condor will occasionally kill and eat live prey. The prey is usually weak or sick and they would die anyway.

They do not like their nesting disturbed and they will react badly. Since they only have 1 chick every other year their numbers are going down.

The bare head and neck of a condor enable it to thrust its heavy hooked bill deep into a carcass, getting its plumage matted with blood.