The Andean Condor is a species of South American bird in the New World
vulture family Cathartidae and is the only member of the genus vultur.
Found in the Andes mountains and adjacent Pacific coasts of western
South America, it is the largest flying land bird in the Western
Hemisphere. It is a large black vulture with a ruff of white feathers
surrounding the base of the neck and, especially in the male, large
white patches on the wings. The head and neck are nearly featherless,
and are a dull red color, which may flush and therefore change color in
response to the bird's emotional state. In the male, there is a wattle
on the neck and a large, dark red comb or caruncle on the crown of the
head. Unlike most birds of prey, the male is larger than the female.
The condor is primarily a scavenger, feeding on carrion. It prefers
large carcasses, such as those of deer or cattle. It reaches sexual
maturity at five or six years of age and roosts at elevations of 3,000
to 5,000 m (9,800 to 16,000 ft), generally on inaccessible rock ledges.
One or two eggs are usually laid. It is one of the world’s
longest-living birds, with a lifespan of up to 50 years. The Andean
Condor is a national symbol of Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile,
Colombia, and Ecuador, and plays an important role in the folklore and
mythology of the South American Andean regions. The Andean Condor is
considered near threatened by the IUCN. Captive breeding programs have
been instituted in several countries.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Hugh Capet was crowned King of France, becoming the first monarch of
the Capetian dynasty, which ruled France continuously until overthrown
during the French Revolution in 1792.
The last known pair of Great Auks (illustration by John Gerrard
Keulemans shown), the only species in the genus Pinguinus, were killed
in Eldey off the coast of Iceland.
Pickett's Charge, a futile Confederate infantry assault against Union
Army positions, occurred during the final and bloodiest day of fighting
in the Battle of Gettysburg, marking a turning point in the American
World War II: During their second phase of Operation Bagration, Soviet
troops liberated Minsk, present-day Belarus, from Nazi Germany.
United States Navy warship USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655
over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Wavering; lacking in commitment, certainty, or support.
2. Thin or watery
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be
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