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Either of two species of large New World vultures. Two of the largest flying birds, each is about 4 ft (1.2 m) long. Both feed on dead animals. The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), which ranges from the Pacific coast of South America to the high Andes Mountains, has slightly longer wings (10 ft [3 m]) and is black with a white ruff and bare pinkish head and neck. The California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is nearly black, with white wing linings, a bare yellow head, and a red neck. It hovered on the brink of extinction in the 1980s, and every California condor was captured. Careful nurturing has since led to the release of more than 200 condors into the wild.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on condor, visit Britannica.com.