September 3, 2016
Condors: New World Vultures
- as seen by -David Oehler and Julie Larsen Maher
Known for their 10-foot wingspan, Andean condors, are among the largest birds in the world.
Andean condors are New World vultures, distinct in this group, with males that are visibly different from the females (above, a male with large comb). These birds of prey fly up to 150 miles a day amidst the tall peaks and grassy plains throughout the Andes, Patagonia, and coastal regions of western South America in search of carrion that they locate primarily by sight.
As a result of habitat loss, mortality resulting from preying on poisoned carcasses, collision with power lines, and hunting by people who believe the birds attack livestock, Andean condors’ numbers are declining, especially in the northern part of their range.
Celebrate International Vulture Awareness Day on September 3. Visit Andean condors and other vulture species at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo to learn more about their challenges and how we can help to protect them.
Adapted from Live Science Expert Voices by David Oehler and Julie Larsen Maher.