The California condor is North America’s largest bird of prey and also one of its rarest, with only a handful of birds living wild in California and Arizona.
Up to 45 years.
Wingspan: 2.9m (9.5ft), weight 7-10.8kg (17-24lb).
The plumage of the California condor is predominantly black, except for a white patch under the wing. The head and neck are bare of feathers and mainly pink and red in colour.
The California condor is found only in North America, specifically in Southern California and parts of Arizona.
California condors live in arid foothills, mountains and canyons where there is open grassy woodland and scrub.
Condors are scavengers feeding mainly on the carcasses of large animals.
Prior to breeding, males perform a highly ritualised courtship display, standing with their wings out, head down and neck arched while turning slowly from side to side in front of the female.
Both the males and females share in incubation of a single egg and in rearing the youngster. The egg hatches after 50 days or more and the chick does not leave the nest for five months.
The California condor is a critically endangered species that was all but extinct in the wild by the mid-1980s. In a last ditch attempt to save the species, all remaining wild birds were taken into captivity and a breeding programme was initiated. Since then, captive bred condors have been re-introduced into formerly inhabited parts of California and more recently some have been released in Arizona.
California condors are generally fairly quiet but they do make a few grunts, wheezes and coughing type sounds.