The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is known as the largest flying bird on the planet, this is a Western South American bird and could be found in the Andes. The Andean condor is the largest flying bird in the world by combined measurement of weight and wingspan.

The Vultur Gryphus is a national symbol of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru and plays an important role in the folklore and mythology of the Andean regions.

The Andean condor can easily live up to 85 years, therefore it is called the “eternal bird” and is characterized by being sedentary and monogamous. It can measure up to 1.30 meters tall, 3.30 meters wide and its maximum weight is 12 kg.

The adult plumage is black, with the exception of a frill of white feathers nearly surrounding the base of the neck especially in the male. The head and neck are red to blackish-red and have few feathers. In the male, the head is crowned with a dark red caruncle or comb, while the skin of his neck lies in folds. Juveniles have a grayish-brown general coloration, blackish head and neck skin.

The Colca Canyon in Arequipa, Peru is one of the sites, recognized worldwide, as the condor’s habitat where you can observe the flight of this bird.

The Andean Condor and The Incas of Peru

In Andean mythology, the Andean condor was associated with the Inti or sun deity. This bird is considered a symbol of power and health. In some Peruvian bullfighting, a condor is tied to the back of a bull, where it pecks at the animal as bullfighters fight it. The condor generally survives and is set free. This ceremony is called Yawar Fiesta which is a symbolic representation of the power of the Andean peoples (the condor) over the Spanish (the bull).