What Is the Largest Living Flying Bird?

largest-living-flying-bird Credit: Bureau of Land Management/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Condors are the largest living flying birds — Andean condors, a subspecies, are the biggest. Andean condors live in the Andean mountain range in South America. They have impressive 10-foot wingspans and may reach over 30 pounds in weight. They often live in windy areas, as they need the help of strong wind currents to help them lift off the ground and stay in the air with minimal effort.

Andean condors generally live in mountainous regions. However, they also travel occasionally to coastal regions in search of food and nutrients. They seek locations with strong breezes and may even take up residence in deserts subject to strong thermal air currents.

Condors are primarily black in appearance; males may grow to be slightly larger than females and have distinctive white collars around their necks. Andean condors have bald heads, like the closely related California condors, and sharp eyes that help them seek out fast-moving small prey.

Condors are classified as endangered in the United States and may live up to 75 years in captivity. In the wild, they consume various types of prey, including mice, rats and small mammals such as raccoons and foxes. As predatory birds, condors may even raid the nests of other birds that live proximately to them in the wild and consume the eggs for supplemental nutrition.