Vultur gryphus = Andean Condor


The Andean Condor is a species of South American bird in the New World vulture family Cathartidea, it has the largest wingspan (as much as 10 ft). than of all land birds.

Condor Natural History

        It is a large black vulture with a ruff of white feathers surrounding the base of the neck.

        The head and neck are nearly featherless, and are a dull red color, which may flush and therefore change color in response to the bird’s emotional state.

        The condor is primarily a scavenger, feeding on carrion. It prefers large carcasses (deer/cattle).

        It is one of the world’s longest-living birds, with an average lifespan of 50 years.

        It reaches sexual maturity at five or six years of age and nests at elevations of up to 5,000 m (= 16,000 ft), generally on inaccessible rock ledges.

        The head and neck are kept meticulously clean by rubbing on the sand and their baldness is an adaptation for hygiene; this lack of feathers prevents bacteria

            from the carrion it eats from ruining its feathers and exposes the skin to the sterilizing effects of the sun.

        The skin of the head and neck is capable of flushing noticeably in response to emotional state, which serves to communicate between individuals.

        The middle toe is greatly elongated, and the hind one is only slightly developed, while the talons of all the toes are comparatively straight and blunt. The feet

            are thus more adapted to walking, and are of little use as weapons or organs of prehension as in birds of prey and Old World vultures.

        The beak is hooked, and adapted to tear rotting meat.

        The condor soars with its wings held horizontally and its primary feathers bent upwards at the tips. It flaps its wings on rising from the ground, but after

            attaining a moderate elevation it flaps its wings very rarely, relying on thermals to stay aloft.

        It prefers to roost on high places from which it can launch without major wing-flapping effort. Andean Condors are often seen soaring near rock cliffs, using

            the heat thermals to aid them in rising in the air.

        Like other New World vultures, the Andean Condor has the unusual habit ofurohodrosis; it often empties it’s cloaca onto its legs and feet for cooling effect

            through evaporation.

        They locate carrion by spotting it or by following other scavengers, such as corvids or other vultures.

        The condor is invariably dominant among the scavengers in its range.

        Andean Condors are intermittent eaters in the wild, often going for a few days without eating, then gorging themselves on several pounds at once, sometimes

            to the point of being unable to lift off the ground. Because its feet and talons are not adapted to grasping, it must feed while on the ground.

        Sexual maturity and breeding behavior appear after five or six years of age.

        During courtship displays, the skin of the male’s neck flushes, changing from dull red to bright yellow, and inflates. Other courtship rituals include hissing

            and clucking while hopping with wings partially spread, and dancing.

        It deposits one or two bluish-white eggs, every second year. If the chick or egg is lost or removed, another egg is laid to take its place.

        Healthy adults have no natural predators, but large birds of prey and mammalian predators, may take eggs or hatchlings.

        There is a well developed social structure within large groups of condors, with competition to determine a ‘pecking order’ by body language, competitive

            play behavior, and vocalizations.

        The Chicks can’t fly until they are 6 months old and then rely on their parents for two more years.

        The older condors get to eat first, and then the younger ones take turns in order of age.

DD.: Old World vultures:

        New World vultures have a good sense of smell, but Old World vultures find carcasses exclusively by sight.

        No New World vulture possesses a syrinx, the vocal organ of birds; therefore the voice is limited to infrequent grunts and hisses.

        An unusual characteristic of the species in genus Cathartes is a highly developed sense of smell, which they use to find carrion. They locate carrion by

            detecting the scent of ethyl mercaptan, a gas produced by the bodies of decaying animals.

        Other species, such as the American Black Vulture and the King Vulture, have weak senses of smell and find food only by sight, sometimes by following

            Cathartes vultures and other scavengers.

Central issue:

        The central theme is soaring associated with themes of flight, flying and floating sensations. (Soaring is specific to vulture)

        The feeling was that of feeling calm, centered, peaceful and content while flying. (The vulture is vulnerable on the ground.)

        Phoenix rising from the ashes. (The phoenix is a bird that through purification is disintegrating and rises from its ashes transformed and changed.)

        Probably Leprosy miasm

Correlation with Nature:

A. Death, Transformation, Rebirth, “Phoenix”

Vultures have eyes for death. They purify the environment of death and infection by eating carrion, which is then transformed through the ”fire” of the bird’s powerful digestion into new life.

            Feeling trapped in my own physical body with all of its needs and drives.

A sense of revulsion at my own shit, and at the odors associated with bodily decay, age, sickness, and death. In the past, when I worked as a hospital nurse,

this caused me tremendous guilt and mortification.

        Dreams with a theme of death and the beyond.

        A total lunar eclipse; emerging strongly from the proving was the theme of immersion into darkness, and like the mythological ”phoenix”, rebirth through

            magical transformation from the ashes of loss and death.

        Decaying while still being alive, knowing others are just waiting for you to die. A hidden anger

        Falling into the circle of life and death brings one into time, while one’s natural state is to be disembodied, detached, alone, and outside this circle.

        There was a sense that she had lost a sense of solidity, a feeling of being fully present on earth…as if disembodied.

        Dreams of zombies…..people who are empty inside, alive but vacant, just not there.

        I’m not fully in my body. I exist in a kind of dead zone. Where I open with all kind of energies

        What is dead in people, what they need to do to move on…

B. Family, Care and Nourishment

There is a well developed social structure within large groups of condors, with a very well organized ‘pecking order’ …eg. The older condors get to eat first, and then the younger ones take turns in order of age.

        Strong aspect….feeling of love, forgiveness, and gratitude (opposite–detached, estranged, alone)

        Alone with no help or support

        Nourishment and food (fear of not getting enough)

C. Andean Condor as a Raptor

Vultures are so different than the other Raptors. Firstly, they feed on carrion, so they have much less competition and aggression. Power, strength, domination are missing here, and you can see it share, following issues with other Raptors…

        Issues around my vision and eyes; my inability to fuse the images from each of my eyes seemed to reflect my own sense of inner division and split.

        My nature as a solitary traveller who treasures his freedom and own intuition; I dislike and look down on restriction by rules, boundaries, conventions, and

            habits of thought.

        An unbalanced, up-in the air…..constant swaying as she spun back and forth in her swivel chair.

        Wanting to get grounded and find balance in a life

DD.: with Cathartes aura:

        The Andean condor and Turkey vulture shares common theme of death, clearing, but Cathartes have also letting go and purification and detoxification.

Would be have boils, Sepsis., pus while Vult-g would be having itching cath. Focuses on the polarity of releasing something toxic that was hitherto

blocked. Vult-g holds within it the theme of sacrifice, collective guilt and shame, and tremendous self-judgment. Vult-g has its great size, a theme of gentle

giant, great gentleness in all the energy.

One theme strongly appearing in Cathartes while absent in Vulture-gryphus…



        Being the invisible, unrecognized

        Acting as the unseen force, or being susceptible to and/or a victim of unseen force


Vergleich: Siehe: Aves + Greifvoegel



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