It is a member of the Cathartidae species and is the largest and heaviest flying bird on Earth, with the longest wingspan, as well. Adults can grow to be 142 cm tall with a wingspan between 270 and 330 cm. Males can weigh between 11 and 15 kg, while the females between 8 and 11 kg. It is one of the birds that flies in higher altitudes, using rising warm air currents to easily ascend to an elevation of 7000 meters and then fly hundreds of kilometers, hardly beating its wings.
It is a carrion fowl, but it does not descend immediately to eat what it finds; instead, it swoops and wheels over the dead animal and can take up to two days before landing and approaching the carcass to feed, starting with the softest parts. The Colca Canyon is the place you regularly see condors in the Caylloma Province, although the locals say that they used to see them more often. There is no known reason for the population decline, but it has been suggested that human pressure and habitat fragmentation might be behind it.