Vultur gryphus

The Andean Condor is one of the largest flying birds. The male has a wingspan of 10 feet and weighs about 26 pounds, with a length of 40 to 46 inches. The female is slightly smaller and weighs about 20 to 22 pounds. The condor's head and neck are bare because this bird feeds on carrion, and without feathers they do not run the risk of disease carried by bacteria from within the carcass. The hooked beak is designed for ripping and tearing meat. The male has a fleshy comb or crest of red or black and a white ruff at the base of the neck. The rest of the plumage is black except for a large patch of silvery gray on the wings. Wrinkled, fleshy wattles adorn the neck, and the eyes are brown. Females lack the crest and wattles, have red eyes, and are smaller in size. Young condors are a uniform brown. For both sexes the nasal septum is perforated. The legs and feet are flesh colored. The feet are suitable for walking, but not for grasping prey. Hence, condors must feed on the ground. Condors make no sound.

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