home Birds What is the Biggest Bird of Prey

What is the Biggest Bird of Prey

Owner of the largest wings

Size is fine, but wingspan is just as important. And the first place is awarded to the royal and wandering albatrosses. as the owners of the largest wingspan, which is 3.7 meters. In other birds, it is much less. Such huge wings are explained by the fact that albatrosses spend most of their time in flight over the sea, hunting fish. This means that these large birds have to overcome colossal distances every day. By the way, albatross flight is always soaring.

biggest, bird, prey

And the wings themselves, in addition to their size, are also very rigid, narrow and arched. Albatrosses also have a strong beak curved towards the end. You can meet this record holder anywhere, from the shores of Australia or America to Antarctica.

Battle eagle

This one of the largest birds in the world belongs to the hawk family. The length of its body is 78-96 cm, which undoubtedly classifies it as a giant. The average weight of a fighting eagle is 5 kilograms, and its wingspan is up to 220 centimeters. You can meet him only in the deserts of Africa, where he compares favorably with other birds with his interesting color: brown plumage and white belly. The main weapons are sharp claws, strong muscles and a powerful beak.

It feeds mainly on small animals: lizards, snakes or monitor lizards. The fighting eagle will not disdain a goat, sheep or even a dog. Therefore, real round-ups are arranged for these birds so that they do not reduce the number of livestock. By the way, these large predators have no natural enemies other than humans.

Ostrich. record holder in size

The largest bird in the world is, of course, the African ostrich. Ironically, this bird cannot fly, but it has the largest bird dimensions on the planet. it is about 2.5 meters tall and weighs up to 170 kilograms. In addition, ostriches have the largest eyes of any land creature on the planet and just a huge beak.

These “birds” live in arid Africa and the Middle East, most often they can be found on the open savannah. The bird is omnivorous, will not give up both plant food and small rodents or insects. And to make food easier to digest, ostriches, like all birds, swallow small stones.

By the way, ostriches almost became an extinct species because of their valuable meat. The situation was saved by ostrich farms, which can now be found all over the world.

Golden eagle

This representative of the hawk is not only one of the largest birds on the planet, but also the largest eagle on earth. It lives mainly in the mountains, it is impossible to meet it in other places. the golden eagle avoids humans. The wingspan of the golden eagle varies from 180 to 240 centimeters, and the weight can reach 7 kilograms (females are usually larger than males). He also has unusually sharp eyesight, a strong curved beak and a speed of 320 km / h, which makes him an ideal hunter.

It feeds mainly on animals: hares, sheep, deer. Nests are built on high ledges, where a person cannot reach. Like the fish owl, the offspring of the golden eagle consists of two eggs, only one survives. Due to human interference in its habitat, the golden eagle is listed in the Red Book.

Fish owl

By the way, there are many large birds among the owl family. One of them is the striped fish owl, so named because of its variegated plumage. Its weight is on average 3 kilograms, and its wingspan can reach 150 centimeters. Found in Africa.

Like all owls, it hunts at dusk. The striped fish owl’s main prey is, of course, fish, as well as small crocodiles, frogs, crabs and mussels. Since its prey lives under water, the owl does not need an acute hearing. Consequently, her facial disc is very poorly developed, and it is difficult for a fishy owl to determine the direction of the sound.

The striped fish owl lays only two eggs per year, of which only one chick survives.

10 largest birds on Earth

The wingspan is impressive

Sometimes you are amazed at how rich the animal world is on our planet! Take birds for example: there are over 10,000 species on Earth! Antarctica or hot tropics, deserts, islands and continents. you can find representatives of this species everywhere. Of course, they all differ in lifestyle, size, feather color and many other factors. What do the largest birds on earth look like??

Harpy is a real predator

But the harpy is rightfully considered the largest bird of prey. There are three types of them in nature: New Guinea, Guiana and South American large. it is also the largest on the planet. The wingspan of a harpy can reach 220 cm, and its weight is 12 kilograms. You can meet this “beauty” in the rainforests of America.

The harpy has very sharp and long claws. up to 13 centimeters in length. Such a weapon allows her to hunt large animals: sloths, possums, some birds (macaw parrots, toucans). In addition, these predators have very keen eyesight: at a distance of 200 meters, they can spot a small coin! And the speed of 80 km / h makes these big birds real killing machines.

Harpies are an endangered bird species that is under protection. Now there are very few of them left: less than 50,000 individuals worldwide.

Handsome eagle

Another representative of the hawk family is rightfully considered one of the largest birds of prey on the planet. This is a Steller’s sea eagle. It was named for a reason. it’s all the fault of its brown and white plumage, which is why the bird’s shoulders are really white. Among his fellow eagles, he is considered a real heavyweight, because his body weight is 9 kilograms.

You can meet the Steller’s sea eagle in northeast Asia, Japan or America. It mainly settles along the coast, where it feeds on hares, juvenile seals or carrion. He does not disdain fish either. By the way, it is listed in the Red Book of Russia.

Majestic vulture

The next representative of the hawks is included in this list. The American Long-eared Vulture can weigh up to 14 kilograms and has a wingspan of almost 3 meters, making it one of the largest birds on earth. In addition, this large bird is strikingly different from other vultures with its bright color: dark brown plumage, black tail, light orange head and bluish gray legs. And the neck of the bar has skin lobes that slightly resemble an ear. Hence its name. eared vulture.

The long-eared vulture lives only in Africa, sometimes it is found on the Arabian Peninsula. It feeds mainly on carrion. But seeing the eared vulture will not be easy: mostly these birds soar at an altitude of 4000 meters in search of prey.

The largest seabird

Let’s move on to limited categories, that is, to those that do not cover all representatives of birds. Among seabirds, the wandering albatross is considered a giant. He is also the leader in wingspan. In terms of body weight, it is bypassed by the emperor penguin, an inhabitant of Antarctica. Some individuals reach forty-five kilograms. They are also known for being able to dive deeply and for a long time. Try it, swim underwater for fifteen minutes! And the penguin can. Although this species does not try to fly, and its wings are not adapted for this.

What is the largest bird in the world

The world of birds amazes the imagination of even trained specialists. And what does an ordinary person, in fact, know about him? We can say that birds fly (but it turns out that not all of them).. That they are covered in feathers. In the best case, we can name the well-known species. And, for example, what is the largest bird in the world, do you know? Anyway, how to answer such a question? Are you surprised? Then read.

By mass

Here the answer with an ostrich will be just right. It is truly the largest bird on Earth. Some specimens grow up to 2.7 meters, while weighing one hundred and thirty kilograms. But these birds don’t fly. But they run great. In the wild, they are found in the savannas of Africa, even in the Middle East. They live in small harems. The male gathers around him several females, which he jealously protects. He hatches eggs.


This criterion is measured between the last feathers of the open wings. The championship here belongs to the wandering albatross (3.6 meters). The bird with the largest wings hovers above the waters almost all the time, only breeds on the ground. The pink pelican, which can be admired on the coasts of Vietnam or Africa, practically does not lag behind the albatross. Slightly inferior (3.4 m) to the leaders of the African marabou. It can be found in the Sahara. This predator soars high in the hot sky, looking for carrion, which feeds. The Andean condor has the same parameters. It can be seen on the tops of the rocks. He surveys the surrounding mountain landscapes for food.

The largest extinct

The described leaders are much inferior to those that lived on the planet millions of years ago. So, scientists have indisputable evidence that a feathered creature belonging to birds previously lived on Earth, whose wingspan reached seven and a half meters. This is double that of an albatross. The fossilized remains of this giant were found in South Carolina. Previously, the record for extinct was held by Argentavis magnificens. Its wings swung open only six meters. Scientists were amazed by the fragility of the structure of the skeletal system of the giants. Possessing such wings, they easily soared over the surface of the oceans, skillfully using air currents. It is incredible that the ocean did not destroy the remains of the found specimen, giving them the opportunity to petrify and “get” to our times. I wonder what else the scientists will discover? Perhaps these records will seem ridiculous after future discoveries.

Selection criteria

If someone asks you what is the biggest bird, do not rush to name the ostrich. Yes, everyone knows that he is exactly that. But only in the case when the criterion is “magnitude”. Weight. But birds have not one parameter, but a whole set of characteristics that are significant for these representatives of the living world.

READ  How to make an easy and simple bird

Among the predators

There is such a bird. a harpy. It is unique in its enormous size and wingspan. It is believed to be the largest bird of prey. Although we can say that the choice is relative. So, the white-tailed eagle spreads its wings wider, but its mass is less.

The bird with the largest beak

The toucan is the leader in this category. This is an incredibly bright feathered one. Surprisingly, these birds are distant relatives of woodpeckers! Toucans live in the tropics of America. Their beak is huge. Imagine that in some individuals it is equal in volume to the rest of the body (up to 55%). This body does not bear an explicit functional load. It would seem that a toucan could do with a normal beak. Scientists suggest that this organ is involved in regulating body temperature, although evidence for this has not been provided.

Just big birds

It will be interesting to know that there are not so few giants on the planet. For example, the Steller’s sea eagle, which lives in Asia, is more than one meter in length, and its weight can reach nine kilograms. They are predators that do not shun carrion. Despite their weight, they prefer to live high in the trees. A bustard can weigh up to twenty kilograms. This bird also flies! To rise above the ground, it has to accelerate like a heavy aircraft. She lives in the steppes of Eurasia. In our open spaces there is a crane. He is quite tall (almost two meters). Although its weight is not impressive. up to nine kilograms. But the curly pelican is much heavier (14 kg). It has a long neck and beak. It has to do with lifestyle. Pelicans feed on fish, but cannot dive after it. They adapted differently: they put their heads under the water and look for something there to profit from.

The black neck is magnificent. Its weight and wingspan can be compared with the parameters of the leaders (12 kg and 3 m). These birds soar very high and long enough. They look out for carrion (which they eat). Among the most beautiful, of course, one cannot ignore the swan. And it fits us in size. The weight of a bird can reach fifteen kilograms with a wingspan of two and a half meters. He’s great on the water. But walking immediately deprives him of grace. Short legs make the gait awkward. It is not worth putting an end to this, since there are still many amazing specimens left.

Now, after reading a little information about the feathered world record holders, you can answer questions with confidence. I must say that this is a very short overview. In fact, the avian world is so diverse and amazing that you can study it all your life.

What is the biggest bird of prey

In the tropical rainforests of the American continent, from Mexico to Brazil, mainly on the banks of rivers, you can still find the most powerful of all birds of prey. the South American harpy (Harpia harpyja). Having opened its wings almost two meters, in its large powerful paws the harpy carries away the prey living in the tropics. monkeys and sloths, possums, noses, agouti, macaw parrots and wood porcupines, plunging into it long, bent with a thick arc, black claws. And in order to diversify your diet, in some village you can take a pig or a dog.

In ancient Greek myths, the evil, terrible daughters of the deity of sea wonders Tavmant and Electra are notorious. Harpies. With a female body, a bird’s head, powerful paws with long claws and wings, instead of arms. Harpies swooped in suddenly, like the wind, and just like the wind disappeared, terrifying those around them and carrying away children and human souls in their paws. Maybe the harpy bird got its name in honor of these monsters.?

True, the bird is beautiful, its magnificent plumage has always been in great demand among the Indians. But the mythological harpies used to be beautiful women. But they are very similar in character. the same evil, wild and irritable.

According to the testimony of the first travelers to South America, the courageous and brave harpy was highly respected by the Indians. But, at the same time, they were not afraid of any bird as much as the harpy. They hunted for her in order to get an ornament of extreme value. her feathers. Travelers said that the Indians took out a harpy chick from the nest, fed it and kept it in captivity, solely in order to pull the feathers from the fledgling bird from the tail and wings of the tail and wings for their headdress and feathers for arrows twice a year. The fact that, according to stories, even a tamed bird is capable of attacking a person for the most insignificant reason is not at all surprising: who likes it when feathers are torn from a living body?

At a height of about 70 meters above the ground, in the crown of tall trees, the harpy builds a wide nest from thick branches, lining it with moss and leaves. This nest has served a couple for many years. Mating occurs once every two years, as a result of which the female lays one (usually) yellowish egg. Parents take care of the chicks for a long time, as they develop very slowly. Adult birds bravely defend the nest with chicks, driving away intruders, including humans. Only by 10 months the chicks begin to fly well, but they still cannot feed on their own, therefore they do not fly far from the ancestral nest. They endure a two-week hunger strike without difficulty. In an adult eagle, the body length is 91-110 cm, the weight of the female. From 7.5 to 9 kg, the male is two times smaller. 4 to 4.8 kg.

The harpy prefers to hunt alone. Usually she sits on the lower branches of trees, from where it soars up vertically with an arrow. Having circled for several minutes and looking out for prey, the harpy rushes with all its strength down on it. Judging by eyewitness accounts, she is capable of attacking any animal, as long as it is not too large and strong and which she is able to lift into the air.

Andean condor.

If we take the weight of a bird as a starting point, which is directly related to the size of the body, then the Andean condor is the record holder among flying birds. Here and on the question call him

Specific predator or not, there can be no discrepancies. The condor is a bird of prey. Its weight reaches 15 kilograms, the wingspan reaches three meters. Like any predator that looks out for food from a height, the condor, like the albatross, spends a lot of time hovering above the ground. He lives in the mountains of Latin America. It mainly feeds on carrion, so this huge and creepy-looking bird does not pose any danger to people. But she looks really frightening. The Andean condor is black, and when it soars in the mountains, it involuntarily evokes a feeling of fear. Therefore, there were so many legends about condors stealing children or livestock. Because of their enormous size and eerie appearance, the local population, on the one hand, was very afraid of these majestic birds, and on the other hand, attributed to them some mystical properties and even idolized them. But it was all just prejudice.

What is the largest bird of prey on the planet?

Which of the modern birds of prey is the largest in the world?

Whenever it is required to determine a rating, the main question is what criteria should be used to choose. To our question, you also need to choose the criteria. How to determine the size of birds

  • By height,
  • By weight,
  • Wingspan.

It is also not entirely clear who exactly is considered a predator. Someone who eats fish, for example, or someone who hunts aggressively and is dangerous even to humans. Therefore, depending on the selected criteria, there will be slightly different versions.

Wandering albatross.

If we consider the wingspan as a fundamental criterion and again assume a bird that feeds on fish for a predator, then undoubtedly the palm tree in this rating will be

Belong to an albatross. The wingspan of the wandering albatross is the largest of all birds living on the planet. It reaches 3.7 meters in size. In terms of body weight, individual individuals approach ten kilograms. The albatross is a bird that spends a lot of time in low level flight. That is why she needs such huge wings. The albatross hovers over the sea surface, looking out for its prey from above. This bird is very common throughout the world. It can be found in Australia and America and here. The bird is very beautiful and majestic.


If you do not take into account the fact that penguins do not fly, as well as that they are not predators in

In the usual sense of the word for us, although they feed on fish, then in terms of size and weight, of course, the penguin is the largest predator of birds, because only ostriches can be named more than him in weight, but ostriches are definitely not predators. Therefore, from this point of view, the king penguin is the largest of all penguins. and is the largest bird of prey on earth. His weight reaches fifty kilograms, his height is about twenty meters. Everyone knows that penguins live in Antarctica, sometimes swimming to the southern capes and islands of Africa, Australia and South America.


Another contender for the title of the planet’s largest predator is the condor’s habitat neighbor, a bird called the harpy. The name alone is worth something. By weight it reaches

12 kilograms, wingspan. two and a half meters. These birds are found in the forests of South America. It has a monstrously strong and hard beak and 15 centimeters long claws. With them, she can tear apart the prey, which she hunts from a height of more than five hundred meters. And she hunts mainly monkeys, lemurs, sloths, possums and other small mammals. There are very few harpies left on earth. According to scientists, there are only about fifty thousand birds. They are now under protection. If we take as the criterion for choosing a predator, the fact that a bird must hunt and kill its prey, then of course the largest predator of the planet is the harpy, since the condor. It is a scavenger and does not hunt itself.

The largest bird of prey is the large harpy

Harpy belongs to the hawk family. This family, in addition to large harpies, also includes four more species of fairly large birds of prey.

Nesting period

The harpy builds its nest at a high altitude. often located more than 40 meters above the ground, on the tops of tall trees in the rainforest. The female lays 1-2 eggs. Mating occurs every 2-3 years.

Harpy is a forest eagle that nests and hunts in rainforests.

Big harpy. sizes:

  • Body length about 86-107cm.
  • Wingspan 176-224 cm.
  • Tail length 37-42 cm.
  • Claws. from 8 to 13 cm long.
  • Body weight. about 4. 4.8 kg (males), 6. 9 kg (females).
  • Life expectancy. 30 years.

South American Harpy

Great harpy (Harpia harpyja)

Harpies live in the rainforests of South and Central America. They can be found in areas from southern Mexico to Argentina. The large harpy is the largest and most powerful bird of prey living on Earth today. These birds, as a rule, live at an altitude of 900 m, sometimes up to 2000 m above sea level. The large harpy is inferior in its parameters only to the Haast eagle, which died out in the 15th century.

READ  How to choose binoculars for bird watching

Like all birds of the hawk family, harpies have larger females than males. These birds have dark plumage on the back, the head is covered with light gray feathers, and the feathers in the neck area are black. Both male and female harpies have a crest on their heads made of longer feathers. Young harpies have white plumage that darkens with age.

The Harpy is sometimes called the Great American Harpy Eagle.

The largest harpy that lived in captivity. Jezebel, weighed 12.3 kg. But this is not an indicator for representatives of this species. In the wild, these birds lose a lot of energy during hunting, so they weigh less on average. The same is the case with gorillas, which eat much more in captivity and move much less. As a result, their weight, as a rule, is 30-40% higher than that of fellows in the wild (160-225 kg versus 270 kg).

Is the harpy the largest bird of prey in the world??

This is a rather difficult question to answer unambiguously. The wingspan of the harpy ranges from 176 to 224 cm, and is relatively small when you take into account the weight of these birds.

At the same time, according to this parameter, the large harpy is superior to the white-tailed eagle, which on average weighs less.

Harpy is the largest bird in the world?

Slightly larger than a harpy can be a large-mouthed kite, which also belongs to the large birds of prey from the hawk family of the Philippines. over, the average body length of the harpy is greater. At the same time, neither the white-tailed eagle, nor the large-mouthed kite can compare with the harpy in terms of the power of the claws.

Many readers may wonder, what about the condor? After all, a condor is bigger and heavier than a harpy? Yes, but the condor is not so much a bird of prey as it is a scavenger.

Who the harpies hunt?

Typical victims of harpies are animals weighing several kilograms, although these birds prefer to hunt larger individuals. weighing more than 7 kg. The basis of the diet of harpies is mainly tree-dwelling mammals (sloths, kinkajou, chain-tailed porcupines, monkeys, possums), as well as terrestrial mammals (agouti, forest dogs), birds (macaws, toucans) and reptiles. Harpy hunting grounds cover an average of about 30 km ².

Harpies have the longest claws among birds of prey

The harpy’s main weapons are sharp eyesight and claws. Harpy claws reach a length of 8 to 13 cm. Harpy paws are so strong that they can crush bones (pressure 42 kgf / cm ²). The harpy has perfect vision. at a distance of 200 m, it sees an object the size of a coin. Males are smaller than females, more agile and faster. they can fly at a speed of 80 km / h.

Are the harpies threatened with extinction?

Harpies are a rare species close to extinction, therefore they are under strict protection. The number of harpies is decreasing due to the destruction of their natural habitat and poaching. Now in nature, there are less than 50 thousand individuals. Panama recognized the harpy in 2002 as the symbol of its country.

There are three types of harpies most common:

  • South American or large (Harpia harpyja).
  • New Guinea (Harpyopsis novaeguineae).
  • Guiana (Morphnus guianensis).

If you find an error, please select a piece of text and press CtrlEnter.

Description of the Andean condor

An adult male can weigh up to 15 kg. The body is 110.130 cm long. The bird of prey has an unusual color: the body is completely covered with black feathers, the wings have a white pattern at the edges, and there is a soft light collar on the neck. The wingspan during flight is 3 m. There is a small burgundy ridge on the head. Interestingly, its color can change depending on the emotional state of the bird. The size of the males is exceptionally large for the bird world. Females are several times smaller and have red eyes, and males are brown.

From the name of the feathered one, you can guess where it lives. You can find a condor on the slopes of South America in the Andes. You can see the bird at an altitude of 3000.5000 m above sea level in rocky areas and some countries (Chile, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia). Sometimes the condor can be seen in the forests of Patagonia, where he flies to hunt. The birds chose the rocks and mountains as their dwelling for a reason, because from here it is easier for them to look for prey, and the warm air allows the condor to fly, almost without straining its wings.

Despite the showiness and strength of this bird, it is a scavenger. The condor easily eats the carcasses of cows, deer, gaunakos and other animals. In extreme cases, he can survive for about a week without food. Having found food, the bird eats several kilograms of meat in one sitting, which is why it experiences failures for a long time when trying to take off. In search of food, the condor will safely fly over 200 km. Sometimes birds feed on the eggs of other birds that are unlucky enough to be near a predator.

The largest bird of prey in the world can kill even a person!

The largest bird of prey in the world is the Andean condor from the African vulture family. The first written description of a bird is found in 1553 in the Chronicles of Peru by S. De Leon. A detailed scientific description was made by K. Linnaeus in 1758. The Latin name for the bird “Vultur gryphus” comes from the Quechua language, in which the word “cuntur”. This is a fast satellite.

Andean Condor in Captain Grant’s Children

The first acquaintance with the largest bird of prey in the world for many happened after reading the work “Children of Captain Grant”. There is a moment in the book when the condor lifts Robert into the sky. Although Captain Grant’s Children is a great book, Jules Verne was seriously mistaken. The Andean condor cannot lift a person or other prey due to the structure of the paws. That is why this huge strong bird feeds on carrion, because it cannot carry its prey with it. This also explains the fact why condors eat so much at one time.

The bird lives for about 50 years. An interesting fact is that the bird mates once and spends its entire life with the chosen partner. Birds make nests together in rocky gorges. During the mating season, the female has one, maximum, two eggs. The couple incubates them in turns for 60 days. The development of a small condor lasts a long time: only after 6 months he learns to fly and spends 2 years with his family. There is a funny feature of females: if her egg for some reason disappeared, she immediately lays down a new one. Bird watchers use this phenomenon to improve fertility and artificial breeding.

The largest bird of prey in the world brings many benefits to nature. By feeding on carrion, the condor reduces the risk of spreading dangerous infections. Scientists have long noticed that in places where the number of these birds is minimal, domestic and wild animals are more susceptible to diseases and have a short life span. The population of the Andean condor is gradually disappearing, so this species is listed in the Red Book. Also, the bird is the national pride of many countries in South America. Condor flaunts on the coats of arms of Peru, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.

Where does the biggest bird of prey live??

The world’s largest bird of prey lives in the rocky terrain of South America. In the Andes. Here it can be found at an altitude of 3 to 5 thousand meters above sea level in the mountainous regions of countries such as Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia. Occasionally it flies into the plains and forests of Patagonia. The highland areas of the Andean condor were chosen for a reason. This is necessary for a better view of the territory while searching for food, and warm air currents allow it to soar in the sky, practically without flapping its wings.

The largest bird of prey in the world

The largest bird of prey in the world. Andean condor (Vultur gryphus). In males, the body weight reaches 15 kg, and the wingspan is three meters. The body length of an adult is 110-130 cm. The Andean condor has an interesting plumage color: a completely black body, wings with a white border and a white fluffy collar on the neck. The head of the bird has no plumage, and the head of the males is decorated with “earrings” and a comb of dark red color. By the way, their color can change if the bird is worried or in an agitated state. Males of the Andean condor are much larger than females, which is rather an exception to the rule for birds of prey. They also have brown eyes, whereas females do. Red.

Andean condor in the novel by Jules Verne

Personally, I first learned about the largest bird of prey in the world, from the novel by Jules Verne “Children of Captain Grant”. There was an episode when an Andean condor lifted Robert into the air. Here the author made a serious mistake. The fact is that the Andean condor, for all its dimensions, has a leg structure that does not allow it to lift or even grab large game. Jules Verne wrote that this bird pushes bulls into gorges and raises sheep into the air. Apparently the author was misled by numerous legends of the indigenous inhabitants of Patagonia, who considered the condor a Deity. This is actually impossible. In this connection, the world’s largest bird of prey is forced to feed on carrion and feed near the carcass of the animal, which it will find, eating as much as possible. After all, she cannot take it with her, and when she returns, there may already be no food.

The world’s largest bird of prey. Scavenger

The Andean condor feeds on carrion: carcasses of dead cows, guanacos, deer. In search of food, it can fly distances over 200 km. If necessary, he is able to starve for up to a week, and when food is found, it eats several kilograms of meat at a time, after which it cannot fly into the air for a long time. Sometimes eats eggs from other birds that nest nearby.

Breeding andean condor

The life expectancy of the largest bird of prey in the world is up to 50 years. The Andean condor finds its mate once and lives with it for the rest of its life. Nests are made on hard-to-reach rocks. The female lays 1 sometimes 2 eggs. Parents take turns incubating them for 2 months. Chicks develop for a long time. They start flying only after six months and live with their parents for two years. An interesting feature has been noticed. If the egg is lost for any reason, the female immediately lays down the second. It is used by ornithologists to increase the breeding rate of the Andean condor and artificially breed birds in an incubator.

The world’s largest bird of prey is undoubtedly of great benefit. By eating carrion, it reduces the likelihood of spreading a dangerous infection. It has been noticed that in the area where the population of the Andean condor is the smallest, wild animals and even livestock get sick much more often. Today, the population of the Andean condor is under the threat of extinction, therefore it is listed in the International Red Book and protected by law.

Andean condor. National treasure of the countries of South America, and its image flaunts on the coats of arms of Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

READ  When the bird is alive it eats ants

Next, watch the video on the documentary about the Andean condor. Highly qualified specialists work on his filming in Argentina. Only the world’s largest bird of prey could have received such an honor.


Andean condors have a distinctive black and white color. In this case, only the fluffy collar on the neck and the tips of the long flight feathers remain white. The main color of the bird is black, shiny.

On her head, like all scavengers, feathers are absent. The skin can have a variety of shades, from pink to brown. The sharp hooked beak is well adapted for tearing food. The legs are dark gray. Unlike many other predators, the Andean condors cannot strike the warrior with their paws and raise prey in their claws. their legs are weak for this.

The eyes of males are brown, females are dark red. The main decoration of males is a fleshy ridge of dark red color. Young birds have lighter plumage. brown, not black, but darker skin on the head.


The Andean condor is a scavenger predator, and this fact determines its entire way of life. In search of food, birds can hover above the ground for hours, only occasionally resting. According to the observations of scientists, for half an hour of flight, a bird may never flap its wings, adhering to warm air currents. This style of flight is associated with the structural features of the condor’s body. He has rather weak pectoral muscles and a small sternum. It is difficult for birds to take off from the ground, so they mostly rest on the rocks so that they can fly off them without gaining height. In search of food, condors can travel up to 200 kilometers per day.

They feed on the remains of predatory animals, as well as sea mammals and fish washed ashore. They can destroy bird nests. They use their extremely keen eyesight to search for food. They can observe the behavior of other birds, using their “tips”. The condor remains near the carcass of the animal for as long as possible. He cannot carry food with him in his claws due to the peculiarities of the structure of his legs, and if he flies away, they will eat it without him. Although the population of Andean condors is small, there are many other scavengers in nature that compete with them. According to scientists, condors can eat several kilograms of food at a time, and then it can be difficult for them to rise into the air.

The largest bird of prey: description, habitat, photo

What is she, the largest bird of prey? What is the name, where does it live? What are the features of her behavior? These questions will be answered below. The article will provide comprehensive information about which bird is the largest of the predators.

Name history

The bird owes its name to the Quechua tribe, in whose language it sounded like Cuntur (kúntur). This information is contained in the dictionary of this dialect published in 1607.

In science, the bird was first described by Karl Linnaeus in his famous work “The System of Nature”, the 10th edition of which took place in 1758. Thanks to this scientist, the condor got its modern Latin name. Vultur is Latin for vulture.

Scientists have no consensus regarding the modern taxonomy of this bird. Some are inclined to attribute the Andean condor and six other similar species to the same family called American vultures. However, other scientists do not agree with this opinion, citing the fact that all six species are not related to each other, but have only external similarity and a similar habitat. In fact, they descended from completely different, sometimes very distant from each other, ancestors. Therefore, there are different opinions about which order and family should include this largest bird of prey in the world. So, other researchers class it as a Falconiformes order, and still others. Storkiformes. Officially, while the status of the largest bird of prey on the planet remains uncertain.

Settlement area

As the name of the bird implies, the Andean condor lives in South America, in the Andes, in Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Ecuador. In the north it is mainly the upper mountain belt, alpine plains (3000-5000 meters above sea level), in the south. foothills. The birds took a fancy to the plateau areas, overgrown with grass and low stunted trees, the so-called paramo, located between the levels of forests and snow. There are many lakes on them. The extreme point of the feathered range in the south. Tierra del Fuego.

First information

Science knows many birds of prey, including quite large ones. But only one of them is a recognized champion among birds. According to scientists, the Andean condor surpasses all of them in size. Its features, habitat, lifestyle and, of course, size will be discussed in the article.

The Andean condor (in Latin its name sounds like Vultur gryphus) lives in South America. This gigantic, respectable bird was first described by a Spanish historian, priest and geographer named Pedro Cieza de Leon in his book The Chronicle of Peru. The Europeans, seeing these majestic creatures for the first time, were shocked not only by their size, but also by their ability to climb to great heights. Travelers noted that sometimes it was only by soaring high in the sky, at an altitude of several thousand meters, that a condor could be judged about the presence of life in a given area.


The Andean condor lives up to 50 years, and throughout this time does not change the pair. Birds arrange nests on rocks, in hard-to-reach places. The female lays one, rarely two eggs in a rock cavity, covered with twigs, in February-March. Both parents incubate them in turn for 54-58 days. If the egg is stolen or broken, the female lays another.

Andean condors breed, as a rule, once every two years. The ritual behavior of the male is interesting: he performs a kind of dance in front of the chosen female, hissing and jumping on the spot.

The hatched chicks are covered not with feathers, but with thick gray down. Parents feed them partially digested carrion, which is regurgitated from the stomach. Feathers in the younger generation grow when the chicks grow to the size of adult condors. They learn to fly from six months. They usually stay with parents for up to two years, until a new breeding cycle begins.


Finally, it’s time to talk about the size of the Andean condor. The largest bird of prey on Earth is truly impressive in size. She weighs up to 15 kilograms. The wingspan of the predator is up to 310 centimeters. These indicators make the Andean condor a unique, true champion among birds of prey.

Despite the fact that the length of its body from the beak to the tip of the tail is on average five centimeters less than that of its closest relative, the California condor, no one can compare with it in wingspan.

Top 10 largest birds

Ranking the biggest birds wasn’t easy. What criterion should be taken as a basis? Growth? Weight? Wingspan? The problem is that there are birds that are tall but skinny, or small but well-fed; with a giant wingspan, but light, or even worse. large and heavy, but not flying. In this article, attempts are made to compile a top. list, taking into account all these parameters. 10th place Emperor Penguin

The emperor penguin is the largest of the penguin family. Some individuals grow to a height of 122 cm and weigh 40-45 kg. They live, naturally, in the ice of Antarctica, but this species sometimes swims to the mainland.

9th place Steller’s sea eagle

The wingspan of the Steller’s sea eagle reaches 2.5 meters, and its height is 105-110 cm, with a weight of only 8-9 kg. This bird can be seen only in the Far East, it is listed in the Red Book and is protected by law, since the number of this species has decreased to 7,500 individuals and is under threat of complete extinction.

8th place Bustard

The heaviest flying bird can be considered the bustard, whose habitat is the steppes of Eurasia. Its weight reaches 20 kg with a height of 110 cm.The bustard flies thanks to its ability to masterly catch air currents, which is aided by a wingspan of 190-250 cm.However, despite this, it can hardly be called an instant takeoff, rather, it resembles takeoff heavy liner.

7th place Crane

In seventh place is the popular favorite, the hero of many fairy tales and songs. the crane. This bird grows up to 180-190 cm, weighs 8-9 kg, and the wingspan can exceed 2 meters. Few people know that cranes appeared at the end of the era of dinosaurs, so it is not surprising that they can be found everywhere, except for South America and Antarctica.

6th place Curly Pelican

Dalmatian pelicans are one of the largest waterfowl. Adults can reach 180 cm (including a nearly half-meter beak), and weigh 14 kg. It is noteworthy that due to the peculiarities of the structure of the paws, these birds cannot dive, and therefore prefer to hunt in shallow water.

5th place Black neck

The black vulture, whose wingspan reaches 2.5 meters with an increase of 120-135 cm, settles mainly in the mountainous part of southern Europe, North Africa, Western and Central Asia. The main part of the diet of this bird is carrion, which it looks out for, soaring in the air. Due to the fact that vultures have very weak legs, they are not able to carry away prey, so they have to absorb large amounts of food right where they found it. And I must say, sometimes they eat up to 14kg.

4th place Swan

It was impossible not to mention in this rating graceful migratory beauties. swans, which at a particularly good time for fishing can reach a weight of 15 kg. And the wingspan is also impressive. 2 meters, and sometimes more.

3rd place Albatross

The largest flying bird is the wandering albatross, an inhabitant of the southern seas. Although their body size is not very impressive, their wingspan is truly enormous, reaching 3.5 meters. In addition, the albatross is a nightmare of superstitious sailors who believe that the appearance of these birds heralds a storm.

2nd place Cassowary

The cassowary is the largest bird in Australia and New Guinea, and the second largest in the world. Having a height of 2 meters and a weight of 60 kg., She cannot fly, but compensates for this disadvantage with the ability to accelerate to 50 km / h. This name, which has Papuan roots and means “horned head”, the bird received thanks to an outgrowth on the forehead, which is now called a helmet.

1st place Ostrich

Of course, only the ostrich, the largest flightless bird, can take the first place in the rating. Its height reaches 2.7 meters, and its weight is 130 kg. It is not surprising that he cannot lift such a weight into the air, but he runs fast, accelerating to 70 km / h. This is not the only interesting thing about the ostrich. Its eyes are the largest in the animal kingdom, and their weight exceeds the weight of the brain. It is possible that the bird sees better than understands. Although, why think if you can run fast?