The Andean Condor: Learn About the Biggest Bird of Prey

Did you know that are several dozen birds classified as birds of prey?

And, no, we aren’t referring to the 2020 film! We’re talking about actual birds here, people.

Speaking of which, it’s important to note that not all birds are birds of prey, but all birds of prey are birds.

This group of birds tends to include species that mainly consume vertebrates.

Often, these critters exhibit sharp vision, powerful talons, and a sturdy curved beak. This makes it easy for them to consume even larger animals.

Generally, vultures, hawks, eagles, falcons, and more are all birds of prey.

Narrow them down by specific species, and you’ll find that there are hundreds of birds of prey!

Birds of prey include the European Honey Buzzard, King Vulture, and the Crowned Eagle. You may already be familiar with some of these species.

But how about let’s familiarize ourselves with the largest bird of prey on Planet Earth?

Do you know which specie that might be? And, no, it’s not an eagle species.

We’re positive you’ll be pretty impressed when you meet the top seed (no pun intended)!


What is the Largest Bird of Prey in the World?

The largest flying bird of prey on our entire planet is the Andean Condor.

An adult Andean Condor weighs about 33 pounds and is approximately 3.9 feet in height.

Huge! It does sound like a preschooler, doesn’t it?!

Your average bird isn’t even half this weight or size.

It’s almost scary to think that a bird can be this large and weigh this much.


Which is the Largest and Highest Flying Bird of Prey?

Not only is the Andean Condor the largest bird of prey, but it’s the highest flying among these species.

This is partially to thank due to its massive wingspan of 10.5 feet. That’s about as long as the average compact car!

Still, this condor is second to the Wandering Albatross when comparing wingspans of all birds. This bird’s wingspan can reach up to approximately 11.48 feet in length.

Both, regardless, have massive wings!

In addition, this condor species can fly a whopping 21,300 feet. That’s pretty impressive.

To put this into perspective, most birds usually fly under 500 feet. However, sometimes the average bird will fly around 2,000 to 5,000 feet during migration.


Quick Facts About the Andean Condor

Discover more about this incredible bird in the following bullets.


The Andean Condor is currently “Near Threatened.”

This means that its population is decreasing rather than growing.

It was first featured on the Endangered Species list with this status since 1973.

The main reason for their Near Threatened status is because they’re frequently hunted. Often, they’re murdered by farmers for fear they’ll harm their livestock.

To make matters worse, these birds tend to reproduce slowly.

If this trend continues, the Andean Condor may be in the eventual danger of extinction.


This condor comes from South America.

These aren’t prey birds you’ll spot in the United States!

You can find the bird in the Andes range in South America.

They’re also found in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta or Santa Marta Mountains.


It’s classified as a New World vulture.

New World vultures have an intense sense of smell that helps them spot and hunt down prey.

On the other hand, Old World vultures must rely primarily on their sight went hunting.

However, this doesn’t mean that the Andean Condor is a newer bird. In reality, this bird has been around for several decades.


They Have an Interesting Diet.

These preying birds are typically attracted to already-dead critters. This makes them scavengers.

Normally, they eat up to 15 pounds of meat in one feast. (That’s a lot of food!)

But, you might be wondering, how can they consume raw, sometimes rancid, flesh, and survive? Wouldn’t they get sick?

Good question!

Actually, this condor is highly resistant to unhealthy bacteria. This allows them to consume large amounts of raw, dead meat without becoming gravely ill.

And what exactly do they eat, you might ask?

At the San Diego Zoo, Andean Condors get a rabbit, ground meat, rat, beef spleen, and trout as part of their daily meals.


It Can Live Up to 50 Years.

Different bird species have different lifespans. Truthfully, they can vary quite a bit.

For instance, Parakeets live up to approximately 15 years. The Harpy Eagle lives about 25 to 35 years. And Parrots can live 80 to 100 years!

But as for this condor, their slow maturity has provided them with a generous, 50-year lifespan.


What Does the Andean Condor Look Like?

As one of the largest birds to exist, you already know this condor is large in size.

But what other physical attributes does it feature?

Generally, they’re black in color and have a fluffy, white ring around their neck. They also have white marks on their wings.

In addition, you might notice that this condor features a bald, pink head. This allows for as little debris possible to accumulate on their head mid-snacking.

The males of this species also have a flesh-like lump towards the front of their head or caruncle.

Overall, Andean Condors are relatively easy to spot. If you remember the description well, you tend to know one when you see one.


What is the Biggest Among The Identified Birds of Prey in England?

The Andean Condor is easily the largest bird of prey in the world. However, it’s the White-Tailed Eagle in England.

This should be no surprise as the eagle is, after all, known for being a massive bird.

The White-Tailed Eagle is also called the Sea Eagle. And its scientific name is Haliaeetus albicilla.

You can expert this eagle to reach about 20 pounds max (females only) and up to 3.4 feet in length.

Besides the United Kingdom, the White-Tailed Eagle is also found in Eurasia. Russia and Japan are two countries where many live.

This eagle species prefers residing in temperate conditions. In addition, it loves living near large bodies of water.


What is the Largest Breed of Eagle?

The largest and heaviest eagle in the world known to man is the Stellar’s Sea Eagle. It’s also called the Haliaeetus pelagicus.

This eagle is somewhat similar in size to the Harpy Eagle or Harpia harpyja.

Specifically, the Stellar’s Sea Eagle weighs up to about 19.8 pounds and stands around 8.1 feet tall.

On the other hand, the Harpy Eagle can be up to 20 pounds (females only) and about 6.5 feet tall.

As one of the largest bird species and largest raptors, you bet that this fella is intimidating!

But nonetheless, this eagle species is intriguing and simply stunning in appearance.

You can find the Stellar’s Sea Eagle only in far-eastern Russian. It primarily resides on the Kamchatka Penninsula.

But, still, nothing beats the Andean Condor. It’s aggressive personality, and incredible size makes it king among other bird species.

It’s truly a unique and massive bird that we’re so happy to have apart of the animal kingdom!

Either way, each and every bird of prey species is a treasure of its own.