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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 ?
So important is the lead threat resulting from spent ammunition in the condors' food supply that the California Condor Recovery Team is now recommending that FWS reduce lead contamination within condor range (Recovery Team Meeting February 14, 2001).
With breeding in the wild just around the corner, it should not be too long before we can evaluate the success of another step in the California Condor Recovery Program.
The Wild Animal Park's "Condor Ridge" exhibit focuses on native North American wildlife, with the endangered California condor as the centerpiece species.
22 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Edison today received the Department of Interior's Public Service Award -- its highest honor -- for the electric company's efforts to reintroduce California Condors to the wild.
But environmentalists are skeptical and oppose new oil and gas development, particularly near the sanctuary areas for the endangered California condor.
On April 19, 1987, AC9, the last wild California condor, was trapped on the Hudson Ranch in Kern County, California, placed into an oversized dog kennel, and transported to the San Diego Wild Animal Park where it joined the remaining members of its species.
Xewe, the female of the California condor pair, hatched nine months ago at the Los Angeles Zoo.
The goal of the California Condor Recovery Plan is to establish two geographically separate populations, one in California and the other in Arizona, each with 150 birds and at least 15 breeding pairs.
VENTURA COUNTY - A three-month-old California condor chick that recently died tested positive for West Nile virus, officials said Tuesday.
After 14 years in captivity, the last female California Condor caught in the wild was released on April 4th, 2000.
The California Condor captive breeding program has gone extremely well.
It belongs to Molloko, the first California condor chick conceived and hatched in captivity.

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