|Vultur gryphus||Order: Accipitriformes||Family: Cathartidae (New World Vultures)|
I was in Andean Condor range when I was in Peru in 2016, but never got a glimpse of this spectacular species, important in the culture of Native peoples and a bird that played a critical role in the recovery of our own California Condor because scientists could work out techniques for rearing our critically endangered condors in captivity by practicing on this more abundant, and slightly larger, species. When I was living in Madison in the mid-70s, I got to see Stan Temple holding one of the original prototype condor puppet heads that were intended for use in captive rearing to prevent imprinting.
The Andean Condor has at least two entries in Guinness World Records:
Andean Condor: Heaviest bird of prey. The heaviest bird of prey is the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), males of which average 9–12 kg (20–27 lb) and have a wingspan of 3 m (10 ft). A weight of 14.1 kg (31 lb) has been claimed for a male California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) now preserved in the California Academy of Sciences at Los Angeles, USA, but this species is generally much smaller than the Andean condor and rarely exceeds 10.4 kg (23 lb).
Andean Condor: Largest living bird of prey. The world’s largest living species of bird of prey is the Andean condor Vultur gryphus. Native to the Andes and South America’s western coasts, this huge species of New World vulture or cathartid has a wingspan of up to 3.2 m, and can weigh up to 15 kg in the male (which is heavier than the female).