California Condor

They are the largest bird in North America
California Condor Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Gymnogyps californianu
California Condor Physical Characteristics
Black, White
60 years
Top speed
38 mph
15 to 21 pounds
California Condor Distribition

” They have a very sluggish recreation price.”

California condors are the biggest bird in The United States and Canada and have actually been around for a minimum of 40,000 years. With a 9- foot- lengthy wingspan, these marvelous birds skyrocket overhead over the wild open nation of the Southwest. However, these birds are an unusual view as a result of their seriously endangered standing. Learn whatever you ever before would like to know regarding the California condor, including their environments, diet, and actions.

5 Fantastic California Condor Truths

  • The California condor is the biggest bird in The United States and Canada
  • Their family tree go back a minimum of 40,000 years
  • They are a seriously endangered species
  • Their healing is sluggish as a result of their exceptionally sluggish recreation price. Females just lay one egg each time.
  • This bird can fly over 55 miles per hour

Where to Discover the California Condor

This species was as soon as abundant throughout a lot of The United States and Canada however ended up being extinct in the wild in 1987. Ever since, scientists have actually reestablished them to locations of the Southwest, consisting of North Arizona, Southern Utah, California’s seaside hills, and Baja California, Mexico. The California condor has numerous environments, from the Pacific Shore coastlines to coniferous woodlands, oak savannas, forested hills (approximately 6,000 feet), and rough shrubland. You will certainly commonly discover them near high cliffs and huge trees, and they are recognized to take a trip a minimum of 160 miles trying to find food. Among the very best areas to watch condors is Pinnacles National forest near San Jose and Fresno,California Try to find the yellow tags on their wings while rising high overhead or set down atop a large tree or high cliff.

California Condor Nests

These birds as soon as embedded in the large sequoia trees in the Sierra Nevada, however today they mainly utilize all-natural tooth cavities or give in high cliffs. They such as to make numerous nesting websites, occasionally in huge redwood trees, and females obtain the last word in where they construct. If they nest in caverns or high cliff slits, they will certainly guarantee it is near roosting trees and an open location for departures and touchdowns (they require a lot of area for their hefty bodies to start). The nests are freely built and contain heaps of particles from bones, crushed rock, bark, and leaves. They are usually 3 feet throughout and 8 inches deep.

Scientific Name

While 4 various other species are recognized, the California condor ( Gymnogyps californianus) is the last enduring in its genus Gymnogyps ( nothing else subspecies exist), Greek for “nude vulture.” The globe californianus explains its place inCalifornia It is a species of New Globe vulture and progressed from a various forefather than the Vintage line. This condor and the 6 various other species that compose the New Globe family are a lot more carefully pertaining to storks, however their “order” placement is still up for dispute.

Dimension, Appearance, and Habits

Larger than a bald eagle, the California condor is the biggest bird in The United States and Canada. It has an extensive wingspan of 9 feet with lengthy main plumes, which provide it a felt appearance when they remain in trip. It has a cumbersome body, a brief, wide tail, and an equally little head. This vulture can get to over 4 feet in size and considers in between 15 and 21 extra pounds. The grownups are all black with white spots under their wings, and their heads are bare with a yellow-colored- orange shade. The juveniles have dark heads, grey necks, and grey spots under their wings; they do not reach their grown-up pigmentation till 6 to 8 years of ages. Juveniles additionally have a light- tinted neck ruff that transforms black when they maturate.

Throughout the year, virginal sets cohabit in fairly remote locations. They have equivalent nesting obligations, present dating habits like collaborating trips, and remain with each other till one dies. These birds are a lot more social at roosting, feeding, and showering websites. They identify people and do not usually act strongly in the direction of each other. They shower often and sunlight themselves to dry their plumes and heat up. Moms and dads take care of their young for approximately one year after hatching out, and the chicks commonly play by excitedly jumping about.

Head shot of a California condor in profile
Grownup California condors have hairless heads with a bare with a yellow-colored- orange shade and a black neck ruff.

George Lamson/Shutterstock. com


The California condor’s main diet is carrion.

What Does the California Condor Eat?

This vulture consumes lately deceased animal carcasses (carrion). They mainly eat land and aquatic animals, however periodic reptile continues to be might emerge in their nests. The California condor will certainly skyrocket miles to discover deer, livestock, pig, rabbit, sea lion, and whale continues to be. They get their day-to-day dosage of calcium from bone and coverings. And they such as to discover little to tool- sized animals for much easier bone food digestion.

They skyrocket overhead till they find various other animals preying on a carcass. Once they land, the California condor will certainly take control of unless there are various other condors, in which situation they are forgiving and will certainly eat in teams. They do not feed upon roadkill as a result of their wariness of humans. Likewise, it offers its young regurgitated carrion.

Predators, Risks, and Conservation Status

The IUCN provides the California condor as “seriously endangered,” and its maintained this standing considering that 1994. Nonetheless, its populace is continuously (and gradually) raising, which might require a condition downgrade to “endangered” by 2024 if all works out.

Its radical populace decrease in the 20th century was mainly from consuming lead from carcasses with lead bullet pieces, which is still among the major risks to birds launched in the wild. Various other risks to the California condor consist of power manufacturing and mining, high-voltage line, searching and capturing (deliberate or unintended), viral illness, and air pollution. Their populace numbers are raising as a result of restricted reproduction programs, however development is sluggish. These condors just generate one egg each time and wait a minimum of a year prior to reproducing once more. To avoid these birds from getting to crucial degrees once more, authorities are collaborating with the searching and ranching neighborhoods to decrease the danger of lead poisoning.

What Consumes the California Condor?

The California condor has no all-natural predators, however numerous animals intimidate their young. Animals like ravens, golden eagles, bobcats, mountain lions, and coyotes might assault their eggs and chicks. The most significant danger to this condor is humans.

Recreation, Youthful, and Molting

California condors do not reproduce till they get to 7 years of ages. After discovering their life time companion and producing their nesting websites, females generate one egg. Incubation takes 53 to 60 days and is done by both moms and dads, turning off each to 5 days. As soon as hatched out, mother and father both feed their young and will certainly repel possiblepredators

California condors molt (lose their plumes) around annually. The young can fly 5 to 6 months after hatching out however continue to be based on their moms and dads for a minimum of one more 6 months. The whole nesting procedure can take control of a year, implying moms and dads have to miss a period prior to attempting once more. These birds can measure up to 60 years of ages. Nonetheless, none of the condors in the wild or bondage are older than 40.


There are 200 grownups in the wild old sufficient for reproduction (a minimum of 5 years), and 93 are generating sensible children. The ICUN counts 93 fully grown people since March 2020. If you count all California condors in the wild and in restricted reproduction programs, the international populace is 518 and remaining to raise. Yet death prices surpass the wild- fledged bird’s recreation prices.

Up Following:



  1. IUCN Red List, Available here:
  2. Searchable Ornithological Research Archive, Available here:
  3. California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Available here:
  4. Oxford Academic, Available here:
  5. Link Springer, Available here:
  6. National Park Services, Available here:

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