DOROTHY – ANDEAN CONDOR
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Hatch Year: 2005
Arrival to WBS: 2005
Reason for Residence: hatched in captivity
Dorothy was hatched at World Bird Sanctuary on May, 16 2005 from a mated pair of Condors on breeding load from the Cincinnati Zoo. While several of her siblings were rehomed or released, Dorothy remains at World Bird Sanctuary to educate the public about one of the largest avian species. Dorothy is a highly intelligent and playful bird with a personality as large as her wingspan. She genuinely enjoys spending time with her trainers as well as watching guests when they come to visit.
She has a favorite people watching stump she likes to perch on, and will often play to a large crowd by flapping her wings or spinning around with her FAVORITE toy: a large stick. She also enjoys playing with large rope toys, rakes, and novel enrichment items. Dorothy has quickly learned how to “target” to a special training stick, and enjoys training sessions with her handlers. Dorothy can be found in her public exhibit year round, and on sunny days you may even catch her with her full 10 ft wingspan fanned out to catch some rays!
SPECIES: ANDEAN CONDOR
CONSERVATION STATUS: NEAR THREATENED
Andean Condors were first placed on the United States Endangered Species list in 1970, a status which is assigned to an animal that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Threats to its population include loss of habitat needed for foraging and secondary poisoning from animals killed by hunters and persecution. It is threatened mainly in the northern area of its range, and is extremely rare in Venezuela and Colombia, where it has undergone considerable declines in recent years. Because it is adapted to very low mortality and has correspondingly low reproductive rates, it is extremely vulnerable to human persecution, most of which stems from the fact that it is perceived as a threat by farmers due to alleged attacks on livestock.
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
Age: 50 years
Length: 43″-51″ 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
Range: entire length of the Andes Mountains, including the nearby Pacific coastline
Behavior: he 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
– World Bird Sanctuary had a breeding pair of Andean Condors (on loan to us from the Cincinnati Zoo), that successfully reared chicks, which were released in their native mountains of Columbia, South America.
– Andean Condors are the largest species of flying bird of prey based on combined size and weight.
– 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.