Angels 12


The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is one of the largest flying birds in the world with a wingspan of up to 10.5 feet / 3.2 meters and weighing up to 33 lbs. / 15 kg. It is a soaring bird, only flapping its wings about once an hour and unable to fly without the aid of thermal updrafts.
It is highly specialized for eating carrion, preferably the dead bodies of large animals such as cattle, deer or, of course, unlucky humans. Its beak is capable of easily ripping through tough, thick skin. Its head and long neck are featherless and suited to extending deep into its food.
Being a scavenger, the Andean condor generally prefers dead animals, but it is known to eat anything it considers dead.
The Andean condor roosts at elevations of 10,000 to 16,000 ft / 3,000 to 5,000 m, generally on bare rock. Because of its preference for very high altitudes it is rarely seen by humans. When an Andean condor is spotted, it is usually just a small, dark, slowly circling spot in the sky.
The general rule of thumb for humans is that if you are close enough to see an Andean condor’s face, it could be a very, very bad day. 

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5 thoughts on “Angels 12

  1. AuMiller

    Wow! Your photos are magnificent!!! You two are having the travels very few can have or do. And we are lucky enough to enjoy them! Thank you! Pat ans Frank

  2. Bob

    Better than reading National Geographic!
    Really great Doug — it makes our day every time one of these shows up in our mailbox.
    Bob and Mary Beth

  3. Steph

    Seeing these magnificent creatures from above, up close and personal, is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Until one is right there, it’s hard to imagine their size and wingspan. Amazing to think they can get off the ground, and quickly obvious why they need the updrafts.

    And, these creatures are just one reason to visit Colca Canyon. The beauty of the mountainside terraces, flowing from the depth of the canyon (deeper than the Grand Canyon) up to the apex of the mountains, instills in the observer a sense of wonder – how did they ever manage to not only climb that distance, but to terrace the often rock-hard ground?I gained a new appreciation for what it meant to be a farmer in this part of the world.

    Driving along the Canyon rim, one encounters locals going about their daily chores – plowing fields by hand, or with the aid of two oxen; teens leading herds of sheep to the next pasture where they’ll spend the day grazing; tiny old women carrying their weight in produce on their backs, secured by the brightly colored and ubiquitous Peruvian woven cloth; and children playing, often with no more than a stick with which they are guiding a wheel rim along the edge of the road.

    It is a magical place…a land lost in time and oblivious to modern conveniences, a land we long to explore.


  4. Hayden

    What a fantastic job you are doing with these reports, high resolution photo graphs, and travel adventure reports. I am going to share your link and web site with our high school science and social studies classes and with the entire staff. Travel is such a wonderful learning experience and your reports allow us to travel along with you and see and experience the same adventures. This IS a digital connected world and your work proves that as well. Thank you sincerely, and please press on and keep posting, I cannot imagine how difficult this is out where you are. That alone is another story…..