How Andean condors fly, new research


This November 2018 video says about itself:

Meet the Majestic Andean Condor, one of the world’s largest flying bird, considered a sacred animal for the Incas.

Andean condors are massive birds, among the largest in the world that are able to fly. Because they are so heavy (up to 33 pounds), these birds prefer to live in windy áreas, where they can glide on air currents with little effort.

From Swansea University in Wales:

Experts’ high-flying study reveals secrets of soaring birds

New research has revealed when it comes to flying the largest of birds rely on air currents, not flapping to move around

July 14, 2020

New research has revealed when it comes to flying the largest of birds don’t rely on flapping to move around. Instead they make use of air currents to keep them airborne for hours at a time.

The Andean condor — the world’s heaviest soaring bird which can weigh in at up to 15kg — actually flaps its wings for one per cent of its flight time.

The study is part of a collaboration between Swansea University’s Professor Emily Shepard and Dr Sergio Lambertucci in Argentina, that uses high-tech flight-recorders on Andean condors. These log each and every wingbeat and twist and turn in flight as condors search for food.

The team wanted to find out more about how birds’ flight efforts vary depending on environmental conditions. Their findings will help to improve understanding about large birds’ capacity for soaring and the specific circumstances that make flight costly.

During the study, the researchers discovered that more than 75 per cent of the condors’ flapping was associated with take-off.

However, once in the sky condors can sustain soaring for long periods in a wide range of wind and thermal conditions — one bird managed to clock up five hours without flapping, covering around 172 km or more than 100 miles.

The findings are revealed in a new paper Physical limits of flight performance in the heaviest soaring bird, which has just been published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr Hannah Williams, now at the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behaviour, said: “Watching birds from kites to eagles fly, you might wonder if they ever flap.

“This question is important, because by the time birds are as big as condors, theory tells us they are dependent on soaring to get around.

“Our results revealed the amount the birds flapped didn’t change substantially with the weather.

Teratorns, big prehistoric American vultures


This 10 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Teratorns – The Monster Birds

Millions of years ago giant birds of prey ruled the Americas – the Teratorns. But our understanding of these animals has changed greatly in the last few decades.

Cheetah, vultures and lion in South Africa


This 28 April 2020 video from South Africa says about itself:

Cheetah kill at Sabi Sabi… with a twist…

An absolutely incredible weekend here at Sabi Sabi with alarm calls coming from the open area in front of Bush Lodge. We scanned the area and noticed a cheetah in the open area so we dashed off to find that he had managed to take down an impala.

Looking a bit nervous, as cheetahs do before eating, he eventually got going and dug into his kill. Soon after, the vultures started gathering in enormous numbers. Trying to fight off the vultures, the cheetah eventually got spooked and bolted away. The vultures dived in with no hesitation and not even a minute later, a young male lion came rushing in, chasing off the vultures and claiming the rest of the kill for himself. He dragged it off into some thick area where he finished it off.

We managed to catch up with the cheetah who moved a little way away and decided to rest after all the commotion.

California condor flying, video


This 1 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

A California Condor in flight is an impressive sight. With a nine-foot plus wingspan, the birds can stay aloft for hours, floating up to 15,000 feet on warm air thermals.

To learn more, visit here.

Video by Don DesJardin.

Saving California condors in the USA


This 22 February 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

SAVED! Prehistoric Bird Escapes Extinction!

On this episode of Breaking Trail, Mario and the crew are in California to work with some bizarre yet magnificent Prehistoric birds.. critically endangered California Condors! Watch as they assist in pulling biometric data and perform health assessments on these incredible birds!

Get ready to meet the prehistoric bird that was saved from extinction!

Thank you to Molly Astell for hosting us and allowing us to showcase the California Condor recovery program! If you want to learn more about the California Condor or contribute to Condor conservation, head here and here.

California condor chick fledges, video


This video from the USA says about itself:

California Condor Chick #980 Fledges! – Oct. 14, 2019

Big news! At just over 6 months of age, the young condor nestling #980 has fledged after 187 days. Watch the young condor confidently take wing on October 14. After making a sustained flight out of view, the fledgling returns to perch on its favorite rock in the nesting cave. Way to fly #980!

Watch live at www.allaboutbirds.org/condors

This condor nest, known as the Pole Canyon nest, is located in a remote canyon near the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. The parents of the chick in the Pole Canyon nest are mom #563 and dad #262. Dad #262 was laid in 2001 and was the first viable egg laid in the wild since the reintroduction program began. He was actually one of two eggs laid to a trio (male #100 and females #111 and #108) but was brought into captivity to ensure proper incubation. He hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo and was released back to the wild a year later in 2002. Mom #563 hatched at the Oregon Zoo in 2010. This is their first nesting attempt together but both have nested previously with mates who are now deceased. A single egg was laid in this nesting cavity, and the chick hatched on April 10, 2019.

Hungry vultures in Gambia, video


This 2018 video says about itself:

In this report we see that the body of a herbivore is used by griffon vultures, hooded vultures, white-backed vultures, Rüppell’s vultures, lappet-faced vultures and white-headed vultures, to relieve their hunger in the Occipitalis Station (Gambia).

I saw a big group of vultures of various species eating a dead herbivorous mammal in the Gambia as well. In my case, it was a donkey. In the video, it is a goat.

California condor chick fed by its father


This video from the USA says about itself:

Male Condor Feeds Chick From Cliff’s Edge! – Aug. 12, 2019

Check out this balancing act when male condor #262 arrives to feed his begging chick from the edge of the nesting cave. This new camera angle really puts into perspective how remote these cliffside condor nests can be!

Watch live at www.allaboutbirds.org/condors

This condor nest, known as the Pole Canyon nest, is located in a remote canyon near the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. The parents of the chick in the Pole Canyon nest are mom #563 and dad #262. Dad #262 was laid in 2001 and was the first viable egg laid in the wild since the reintroduction program began. He was actually one of two eggs laid to a trio (male #100 and females #111 and #108) but was brought into captivity to ensure proper incubation. He hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo and was released back to the wild a year later in 2002. Mom #563 hatched at the Oregon Zoo in 2010. This is their first nesting attempt together, but both have nested previously with mates who are now deceased. A single egg was laid in this nesting cavity, and the chick hatched on April 10, 2019.