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common name for certain American vulturesvulture,
common name for large birds of prey of temperate and tropical regions. The Old World vultures (family Accipitridae) are allied to hawks and eagles; the more ancient American vultures and condors are of a different family (Cathartidae) with distant links to storks and
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, found in the high peaks of the Andes of South America and the Coast Range of S California. Condors are the largest of the living birds, nearly 50 in. (125 cm) long with a wingspread of from 9 to 10 ft (274–300 cm). Voracious eaters, they prefer carrion but will attack living animals as large as deer. The eggs are laid in a sketchy cliff nest of twigs; the young are unable to fly until they are about a year old.

The Andean condor, Vultur gryphus, has black plumage with white wing patches and a white neck ruff. The lead-colored head and neck are bare; the male has a comb and wattles. The female lays one or two eggs. The California condor, or California vulture, Gymnogyps californianus, is all black with white wing bands. Forming long-term pair bonds, the California condor only lays one egg and does not breed until at least six years old. Condors, particularly the California species (which has only recently been reintroduced into the wild), are extremely rare and on the verge of extinction.

Condors are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Cathartiformes, family Cathartidae.


A continuous-wave navigation system, similar to benito, that automatically measures bearing and distance from a single ground station; the distance is determined by phase comparison and the bearing by automatic direction finding.
(vertebrate zoology)
Vultur gryphus. A large American vulture having a bare head and neck, dull black plumage, and a white neck ruff.


A U.S. Navy air-to-surface missile that uses optoelectronic guidance, developed for use beyond the range of antiaircraft guns which protect heavily defended ground targets; range is about 50 miles (80 kilometers).


either of two very large rare New World vultures, Vultur gryphus (Andean condor), which has black plumage with white around the neck, and Gymnogyps californianus (California condor), which is similar but nearly extinct
References in periodicals archive ?
In some areas, condors are fed stillborn calves to discourage them from ever biting the bullet.
The return of California condors to the wild is a remarkable conservation success story.
Over 200 vintage black-and-white photographs illustrate this meticulous accounting of how the Condors were constructed, how they were used, and their ultimate effect upon aviation history.
Abstract: Since 1996, The Peregrine Fund has released California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) in the Grand Canyon region of northern Arizona with the goal of establishing a self-sustaining population, disjunct from other released populations in California and Baja California.
Today more than 150 condors live in the wild, and more than 70 spread their 9-foot-wingspan over California's skies, including parks like Pinnacles National Monument south of San Francisco; 150 condors live in captivity.
At the book's end are appendices listing sites to view condors, complete with driving directions and condor Web sites to bring the condor to the classroom and continue to partner the audience with this dramatic story.
Tejon Ranch stretches across the southern San Joaquin Valley and is frequented by the critically endangered condors foraging for carcasses on its 270,000 acres.
Not surprisingly, the story of human beings and condors is both tragic and inspiring, heartbreaking and hopeful--but this relationship is also frequently bizarre, and occasionally hilarious.
ANDEAN condors Sonya and Gus were last night settling into their new pounds 100,000 Welsh Mountain Zoo home.
The Incas believed that Andean condors flew the sun into the sky every morning and served as messengers to the gods.
We know through testing on captive condors that maternal immunity is transferred to the chicks," notes project leader for the recovery program Marc Weitzel of the FWS Hopper Mountain Complex outside Ventura, Calif.
Number 59 was one of three captive-hatched California condors released to the wild a few days earlier in the Sierra de San Pedro Martir.