Wildlife of the Week: Andean condor

Population steady in Patagonia despite declining elsewhere



An Andean Condor flies over the Patagonian Andes, Feb. 8, 2022, in Chile.


The Andean condor is the largest bird in all of South America and is only slightly smaller than the California condor in the U.S., according to American Bird Conservation. This bird is a famous icon of Patagonia found throughout the Andes in South America all the way to the Tierra del Fuego (often referred to as “the end of the world”), where it is seen flying through the mountains and looking for food.

The Andean condor is a scavenger often seen feeding on almost any dead animal they can find, sometimes even sneaking in to grab a bite from the prey of a puma, according to Birds of the World. They have also been known to gather at beached whales and in seal colonies, always looking for opportunities to eat. Though they are declining across their range, it is believed they are steady in the Patagonia region.