California Condor

Gymnogyps californianus

Order

CICONIIFORMES

Family

New World Vultures (Cathartidae)

Code 4

CACO

Code 6

GYMCAL

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Critically Endangered

The California Condor is rated as Critically Endangered. In 1981, there were less than two dozen birds left. In 1987, all remaining birds were taken into captivity. Since that time conservation efforts have been underway and birds have been released back into the wild, leading to a marginal increase in the California Condor population. This bird is originally native to Mexico and the United States but it has become regionally extinct in Mexico. Today, this bird is primarily limited to southern California and Arizona, although they have been occasionally seen near the Grand Canyon and portions of Colorado and Wyoming.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

California Condor: Very large raptor with black body, bare-skinned red-orange head, and white wing patches. They can soar for longs periods with minimal wing movement. Locates carrion with its keen eyesight, can survive several days without food. Has the largest wingspan of any North American bird.


Range and Habitat

California Condor: Found in arid foothills and mountain ranges of southern and central California; Also seen in Northern Arizona and southern Utah. Requires large areas of remote country for foraging, roosting, and nesting. Condors roost on large, old growth trees or snags, or on isolated rocky outcrops and cliffs.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

Hisses, growls, and grunts.

INTERESTING FACTS

  • California Condors gorge themselves on several pounds of food in one sitting to sustain them until they find their next meal.
  • The skin on the bare head of an adult bird turns a deep red-pink during courtship or during times of alarm.
  • They can only make hissing or grunting noises because they do not have vocal cords.
  • A group of condors are collectively known as a "condo" and a "scarcity" of condors.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for California Condor

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

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BIRDS AND BIRDING

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