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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.

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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).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Lead concentrations in the blood of Big Sur California condors. California Condors in the 21st Century.
The condors seek out a direct path to get from one side of the valley to the other.
115 in Osprey's Combat Aircraft series, Goss describes the early years of the Fw 200 Condor as a German airliner and documents its wartime career when, for about three years, the Condor patrolled the convoy routes between the U.S.
Biologists attribute the revival to captive-breeding programmes and reduced use of lead ammunition near condor feeding grounds.
Chris West of Yurok Tribe from Northern California - a region where the large birds have not existed in the wild for over 100 years now - and his colleagues assessed the feasibility of the return of condors to the region by looking at data for two other scavenging birds - turkey vultures and common ravens.
Caption: Below left: California condors; below right: Flowers along the Condor Trail near Big Sur
As of 2015, there were 435 condors globally, 268 of them in the wild.
While significant progress in reestablishing wild condor populations has been made since 1992, when the reintroduction of captive-bred condors to the wild began, conservation challenges--" most notably lead poisoning--" remain.
Oregon Zoo Senior Keeper of Condors Kelli Walker said the four facilities produce about 40 eggs each year as part of a program to bolster wild populations.
This grim paper confirms the toll of lead ammunition on condors in the wild, which conservation biologists have warned about for years, says Jeff Walters of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
"Since we are here, watching out over everything, then we can monitor the condors, and if anything is wrong, let the right people know."