Dorothy – Andean Condor
Dorothy hatched at World Bird Sanctuary in 2006. She is an ambassador for her species to spread the word about the threats to this magnificent birds’ survival. In the future, we hope to pair Dorothy with a male so that they may raise young for release to the wild in South America. Dorothy is a favorite among visitors as they enjoy watching her spread her wings to catch the sun on clear days
Being a female, she is gentle and inquisitive as she often will seem to play with rakes, buckets, hoses, tug toys and other items keepers bring in to the cage for her care. She is a very special bird and we are very lucky to have her as a resident here at World Bird Sanctuary.
Species: Andean Condor
Scientific Name: Vultur gryphus
Description: largest of the vultures; black overall with gray on the wings; white downy ruff around the neck and a wattled head; male’s head has a large, fleshy caruncle which is lacking on the female
Sex: Males larger than females
Wild Life Expectancy: 50 years
Length: 43-51″ body length; stands 4′ tall
Weight: 20-30 lbs.
Habitat: open grasslands and alpine areas in high mountain regions; will go to lowland deserts and coastlines to forage, but rarely visit forested areas
Status: endangered; due to illegal shooting, habitat disturbance, secondary lead poisoning; current captive breeding and reintroduction programs appear to be successful; some of the released birds are reported to be breeding in the wild
Range: entire length of the Andes Mountains, including the nearby Pacific coastline
Behavior: the courtship display consists of the male drawing himself erect, fully extending is wings, and clicking his tongue while his reddish neck becomes bright yellow; they lay their single egg on bare ground in caves and on ledges among steep cliffs; mating occurs every other year during July; incubation is 54-58 days; fledging takes another 180 days; both parents care for young; young leave parents in second year; young birds become sexually mature at 6 or more years
Diet: carrion, newborn animals, and seabird eggs when available
Vocalization: generally silent; only vocalization is a low wheezing or grunting
- The World Bird Sanctuary’s breeding pair of Andean Condors, which are on loan to us from the Cincinnati Zoo, have successfully reared chicks, which have been released in their native mountains of Columbia, South America.
- The downy white ruff around the neck can be used as a sort of hood to keep the bare head warm in cold mountain climates. The bird simply tucks its head and raises the neck hackles.