What Is a Condor?
A condor is a large vulture, a common name for the two species of New World vultures which are the largest flying land birds in the Western Hemisphere. They are the Andean condor which inhabits the Andean mountains.
And the condor of North America, called the California condor, which is the largest land bird on the continent. Some of these huge, mountain-dwelling birds have wingspreads of almost ten feet.
Both condors are very large broad-winged soaring birds, the Andean condor being five cm shorter (beak to tail) on average than the northern species, but larger in wingspan.
Because the condor is so heavy, it must fly only during the heat of the day when the rising currents of warm air help lift it into the air. Then it soars over the surrounding countryside searching for dead animals, which it will eat.
Like most vultures, the condor’s head is bare of filth-collecting feathers. The condor’s voice is a loud hiss.