This podcast episode we talk about the Andean Condor! Relax, unwind, and join me on the mountains, where we learn all about the largest flying bird in the world.
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hello everyone well come back to relax with animal facts I am Steph wolf and today I am going to be learning with you about our furry scaly or possibly even slimy friends and in today's case the animal is going to fall into maybe a more feathery category because we are covering the %HESITATION so wonderful Indian condor and our episode today is dedicated to Charlie who wrote in via the Instagram and recommended one of the coolest birds nature has to offer I am very excited to get into this episode so I will have to try my absolute best to slow myself down because one of my symptoms of being excited is that I start talking a little bit too quickly so I am just going to say where I caught the facts for this episode from the facts contained in this podcast episode are from National Geographic dot com cascaded dot travelled green fund dot org and lastly of course as always at him online dot com for the name condor without these resources this podcast episode would not have been possible and so I greatly encourage you if you would like to learn more about the condor or I'm sure about many other furry scaly and slimy friends to go to those resources they will be in the description or the show notes of this episode for those who might be hearing impaired transcripts are now officially available both on YouTube on the you to relax with animal facts as well as on the website relax with animal facts dot com keep in mind that there may be a few errors here or there in the episodes transcript but I have reviewed some of them and it seems to be pretty accurate for those of you that wish to have your very own podcast episode and to learn about something cool you can request your animal in one of three ways you can follow the Instagram relax with animal facts and send a direct message you can go to relax with animal facts dot com and go to the animal request tab and lastly you could always send an email directly to relax with animal facts at two G. mail dot com and now as we begin to wind down from our day I would like for all of you to notice maybe where are you were carrying some tension for some it might be in the shoulders for some it might be in the lakes you may have run a marathon for all I know but what you'll notice is that everybody in this regard seems to be quite unique for me today for example it is in my hands as it almost always is and so I would like for all of you to do your best right along side me and relax those portions of your body because for the next twenty minutes or so this is the time in which we will travel together into the vast beauties of the mountains where there is sunshine where there is wind and if you listen closely enough you might even hear the beats of the flying and Deon condor this the Indian condor is of course a bird it's scientific name is Valter Griffis we will be going a little bit deeper into why it is called the vaulter Griffis at the end of the episode when we go into the etymology section but for now just know that I have no scruples with this scientific name because of how apt it is the Indian condor is the largest flying bird in the world with its combined measurement of both weight and wing span the Andean condor is truly a Goliath in the air their body alone will be about four feet and their wing span is going to be up to ten and a half feet that's about three point two meters measuring roughly two times the height of an average female person they will be weighing up to thirty three pounds or fifteen kilograms this is an animal that when they fly over you you might be in the shade for a second or two this bird is big but thirty three pounds or fifteen kilograms for those who prefer that measurement might not sound like a lot especially when we compare it to other large animals we might think about the Asian elephant being about nine thousand pounds maybe you even grip straight to the blue whale weighing in at over four hundred and forty thousand pounds but what makes the Andean condor huge at thirty three pounds is relative to other bird species and other flyers as a whole a bird like the flamingo for example sports adding a very tall stature is going to weigh actually just about eight pounds so the Andean condor is going to be over four times the weight of a flamingo still fly and sport the largest flying bird in the world the reason they can stay so will allow you to at thirty three pounds with a wing span of three point two meters or ten and a half feet is because of the hollow bones that they have bones are heavy and theirs will be more hold out then the bones like me and you have as human beings we have varying bone densities but all in all our bones are quite hefty that's not the case for the Andean condor and as its name suggests the Andean condor inhabits much of the Andes mountain range that is going to live along western South America and in specific the Pacific coast region they can be found all the way from northern Venezuela to Colombia traveling even all the way south to T. era Delph Waco so it is quite likely that many of you south American listeners have seen this giant bird at one point or another with their very large wing span they are going to need some help to keep them up in the air and this is why the Andean condor prefers to be in more windy areas than those that have no wind at all because just like surfers on waves the Andean condor is going to collide on those air currents as they come and catch a lift each time allowing them to fly with actually very little effort the reason they like hosts is because there are many ocean breezes there and they even like certain desert's because they will also have very strong thermal air currents so these air surfers are going to find the places with the best waves or the best air currents and breezes and ride them whenever they can the physical characteristics of the Andean condor is pretty interesting when Charlie had first requested this episode and I went on Mr Google to find out what exactly they looked like they didn't exactly fit the bill of what I was expecting they look like a mixture between a vulture a very large Turkey and of course like other condors but they will sport mostly a black plumage but males will have a distinctive white collar around their necks and sometimes will even have white markings on their wings as well so if you want to tell the difference between a female and male Andean condor their white collar gives it right away like a gentleman in the feathery tuck see does it makes it easy for us to tell the difference now because of the fact that they are able to really ride to these air currents and without much exertion this will allow them to fly a tremendous distances at one time in a single day they have been seen to fly as far as one hundred and eighty miles or three hundred kilometers in search of food COS some of you may have noticed the scientific name Valter means that condors are vultures and vultures of course eat carrion which means animals that have already died this carrion for the Andean condor is going to make up the majority of their diet they act as nature's clean up crew said they would prefer to feast on pretty large animals wild or even sometimes domestic where they will pick at the carcasses and function as organic janitors so this might change depending on where specifically the Andean condor is if it is along the coasts condors will often feed on dead marine animals like seals or fish but along certain more arid plains in South America they will of course have more access to these lands dwelling mammals that they like so much now despite the fact that to the Andean condor seems to have a bit of a dirty job they do really keep hygienic bike rooming themselves and keeping their feathers nice and neat so they will use these hope to be ex that they have to clean or screen as it is called their plumage one thing you might notice about the Andean condor is that it sort of has a bald head not entirely they often have a few stray feathers here and there but that is not exclusive to the Andean condor that is inclusive of all folders and here we may engage in the art of deductive reasoning to find out why exactly this is well because they are scavengers and they eat mostly dead things to get at the meat that they want to eat they will sometimes put their heads pretty deep into the cavities of stinking or rotting carcasses so we can imagine that if the Andean condor had a feathery Mohawk of some kind there would be a great %HESITATION chance of some form of bacterial infection or germs to grow as they penetrate deeper into the feathers but with a nice shaved bald head the condor can stay cleaner than it would with a full head of hair and the Andean condor happens to be Chile's national bird and is even part of their coat of arms it has some pretty cool cultural impacts in Chile even being featured in one of Chile's most popular comics there is a famous cartoon character called Conder Riccio this cartoon Andean condor has been bringing joy to both kids and adults alike they also serve as a symbol in Patagonia for those of you not so familiar with Patagonia it is in South America it is and to relieve the southern most tip of it and is shared by both Chile and Argentina the Andes mountains which act as a sort of partition between the two and in Patagonia they will serve to be symbolic of power liberty and health so we can see that this creature is pretty well thought of in South America and the condor is part of the Inca trilogy as it is called the condors right beside the puma and the snake and the Incas believes that the condor was a kind of sacred bird representing of the idea of heaven that to me is of particular interest I would have to assume that it wouldn't be because of their eating habits throwing their whole heads into rotting carcasses but I'm sure that there were many cultural and contextual clues that I am missing here context is king and without it all we I can do is really speculate perhaps it is because when they make a nest condors love to lay their eggs on the edge of a cliff now some parents listening might shudder at the prospect of having little baby birds right by a gaping precipice but there is actually a good reason for it these cliffs and rocky outcrops are mostly inaccessible except to many bird species with areas that are that high up it would be hard for some ground predators to come and snatch away the aches and after they hatch they will live a very long life wild condors have been seen to live up to fifty years in the wild and of course in captivity that's number only gets higher the oldest condor that we'd know about lived to be eighty years of age for many bird species eighty years is very impressive and while the Andean condor mightn't Shorty it's privacy during the day at night Andean condors will all come together to sleep and can be found in some pretty big numbers as the roost on high cliffs and those rocky outcrops but despite their very long lifespan they do reproduce slowly a mating pair produces only one single offspring every other year and both parents are going to be responsible for the care of their young for one full year so with this knowledge like many species in which they can lay hundreds of eggs and then just leave them there they might be more like us in this regard in which their children or their young are a commitment a wonderful commitment to raising the offspring that it may grow just as big with just as big a wing span as mom and dad now let us move on to the etymology of the scientific name of the Andean condor which is again Valter Griffis both of those might ring a bell to you so we'll start with the first one Valter was changed in the fourteenth century into vulture which we of course know what the word vulture is an Anglo French word and goes all the way back to the Latin Volare which means to pluck into terror if you have ever seen a vulture eat this is exactly how they do it they methodically hammer their beaks into a carcass to walk into terror as the eat the second word Griffis has a long history and most recently in the twelve hundreds was changed to Griffin you might know that the Griffin is a sort of fantastical creature which was very much in favor in Greek mythology but it comes from the U. lace Latin Griffis which came from the creek grips which meant a Griffin or dragon but more literally translated as curved or hook nosed so the scientific name of the Andean condor would literally be translated as the curved or hook nosed Placar or terror one of the most apt scientific names that I have come across thus far and that's weird condor actually just means a large south American bird of prey it was coined in about the seventeen century in the sixteen hundreds from American Spanish and goes all the way back to quit Chula witches income and their word for the condor was coon tour so the native name of the bird condor was sort of taken and adapted in the sixteen hundreds to have what we can now call the condor what a wonderful etymological review this episode let us go to the review portion of the show in which I read a review left by one of your very special listeners out there and for two days we are going to be reading one that was written by a user named one one re wear and re where is writing all the way from the United States of America and rights one of the best podcast ever I love animals but I have so much going on so I love just putting in my ear buds and learning about animals I listen before bed and while I am working love this podcast you should seriously listen to the show thank you re where for a very kind review I am very glad that the show is a part of your nightly routine as well as your work routine if you would like to leave a review like one one re where did it is one of the greatest ways to give back to the show if it has been helpful for you because it helps more %HESITATION listeners find of the show it helps grow our animal podcast family and so we can have more and more companies we track in the forests or dive in to seize all of your reviews that you have been leaving show the generosity of all of you listening and again if you would like to request an animal for the show you can do so by following relax with animal facts and sending a direct message you can go to relax with animal facts at G. mail dot com and click on the animal request tab and lastly you could always send an email to relax with animal facts at two G. mail dot com this will was an amazing episode thank you again Charlie for such a suggestion I hope that all of you have enjoyed the journey into the mountains and that you will join me on the next podcast episode with the next animal take care