Condors are members of New World vultures. Adult condors are primarily black except for bleach white feathers in a triangle-shape pattern beneath their wings
California condors Gymnogyps californianus, are the largest flying land bird in North America. Condors are members of New World vultures, Family Cathartidae, and are opportunistic scavengers that feed primarily on large dead mammals such as deer, elk, bighorn sheep, range cattle, and horses. Condors have a wingspan of 9 ½ feet, and can weigh up to 25 pounds as adults.
Using thermal updrafts, condors can soar and glide up to 50 miles per hour and travel 100 miles or more per day in search of food. California condors are not sexually dimorphic like a majority of raptors, i.e., males and females are identical in size and plumage.
Condors are cavity-nesting species that require caves, ledges, or large trees in order to nest. High perches are necessary for roosting, as well as to create the strong updrafts required for lift into flight. Open grasslands or savannahs are important to condors while searching for food. In Arizona, condors are found at elevations between 2,000-8,000 feet, and the reintroduction site is located in the northern part of the state on Vermilion Cliffs.
The Vermilion cliffs are rugged sandstone cliffs located on public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. These cliffs are located on the Paria Plateau and provide the necessary remoteness, ridges, ledges, and caves favored by condors.
To conserve Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources and manage for safe, compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations.
Endangered and Threatened Species
Relatively few native species of wildlife have been extirpated from Arizona since pre-settlement days and even fewer have become extinct. In fact, most native species in Arizona are still abundant and offer tremendous recreational and educational opportunities, whether through harvest or observation. Some species are no longer abundant and many are increasingly threatened by habitat degradation, disease, introduced species and climate change.