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Cockburn Channel

Cockburn Channel, Chile
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Andean Condors   Chile

Andean Condors

The national bird of several South American countries—including Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador—the Andean condor has the widest wingspan of any raptor. That allows these magnificent birds to soar for long time periods while expending very little energy. If you see a condor in the air, look at the wing tips: They point up like an airplane wing, which reduces air resistance. Andean condors are easily identified for their black bodies, white neck ruffs and bald heads. Unlike the females, the males have a large comb on their heads. Each comb is unique, so biologists in the region can use them to identify the individual birds they're studying. When at rest, these giant birds stretch out their wings to warm them in the sun's rays and to keep the feathers healthy.