California Condor Size: How Big Are They Compared To Others?

California Condor Length

California Condor Size

Have you ever wondered about the intelligence of birds? Condors are among the most intelligent birds you can ever find, capable of responding to even the most minor stimuli.

The California condor is a critically endangered thunderbird and one of North America’s largest flying birds.

The bird can be found in very small numbers in California’s coastal hills and mountains, as well as around the Grand Canyon.

Condors are highly social animals that can form strong bonds with one another. They are also very playful and curious birds, and it is not uncommon to see them fighting, preening each other, or ganging up and inspecting anything new they find in the area.

Interestingly, the California Condors are the largest birds found in North America and have an overall length of 109 to 140 cm (43 to 55 in). The length or height of these birds is measured from the tip of their head to the tip of their feet. 

Length Centimeter Inch Feet 
California Condor109 to 140 cm43 to 55 in3.57 to 4.59 ft

California Condor Weight

California Condor Size

Other than their large size, the California Condors are also quite heavy. Condors are scavengers, meaning they only eat dead things. 

They have been observed eating everything from ground squirrels to beached whales. Condors require a large territory with plenty of food and shelter. These magnificent gliders travel widely in search of deer, pigs, cattle, sea lions, whales, and other animal carcasses.

The female condor is smaller than the male, which is unusual among birds of prey. Their weights range from 7 to 14.1 kg (15 to 31 lb), with an estimated average weight of 8 to 9 kg (18 to 20 lb).

WeightKilograms Pounds 
California Condor 7 to 14.1 kg15 to 31 lb

In terms of weight (33 pounds) and wingspan(10.5 feet), the Andean Condor comes out on top. However, the California condor is still the biggest and quite heavy flying bird in North America. 

California Condor Wingspan

Despite the fact that the California Condors are quite heavy birds with large body sizes, they are amazing gliders. 

The California Condor is undoubtedly one of the continent’s top “big” birds. They can fly at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour (88 kilometers per hour) and at altitudes of 15,000 feet (4,600 meters). In flight, the body is noticeably bulky, the head appears small, and the tail is short and broad, but with a large wingspan.

California Condor wings are exceptionally long and broad, with long primary feathers giving the wingtips a fingered appearance. The largest recorded wingspan of a California condor was 3.05 m (10 ft), with the average range falling between 2.4 and 3 m (8.2 to 9.8 ft).

WingspanMeters Inches Feet 
California Condor 2.4 and 3 m94.4 to 118.1 in 8.2 to 9.8 ft

California Condor Talon Size

While the wings of birds are key to their flying abilities, one of the most equally important skills is to hunt cleverly and powerfully. This is achieved through their talons, which are used to get hold of prey. 

However, it is quite spectacular that these birds do not have talons. California Condors, on the other hand, have long, powerful beaks that can rip through the tough hides of their prey.

Condors are obligate scavengers, meaning they only consume dead animals. As a result of not needing to hunt down animals, Condors lack talons like hawks and eagles; instead, their nails are more like blunt claws.

They also lack a toe that faces backward (opposing), preventing them from grasping or carrying prey with their feet.

California Condor Egg Size

Talking of the nesting habits and reproductive abilities of these birds, they are now able to reproduce asexually without having to mate. Condor nesting sites are found in mountain cliff caves. 

Condors have been observed nesting in large cavities in the trunks of giant sequoia redwood trees.

Condors have long been considered an endangered species, and their recovery has been slow due to their slow reproductive rate: they only lay one egg every 1-2 years and do not reach sexual maturity until they are 6-8 years old.

The egg laid by the California Condor is oval in shape and has a pale bluish-green appearance that fades to white over time. The egg is about 4 inches long and is usually laid in the late winter or early spring.

California Condor Size Compared To Human

Now that we know exactly how California condor looks in terms of size, wingspan, plumage, talons, and eggs, it is important that we see it from a different perspective. What would the bird look like besides a human? 

Humans are by far the top predators and one of the most advanced creatures of the food chain, however, they do lack wings.

That means we cannot fly like the California Condor or any other birds. So, it is quite complicated to compare the two species on the same parameters.

While the average height of humans is about 5.5 to 5.9 feet and weighs 60 to 80 kilograms (132-176 lb), the California Condor has an average height of 3.57 to 4.59 ft and weighs 8 to 9 kg (18 to 20 lb). The California Condors might have a similar height but are very small in terms of weight. 

While our arms don’t really do the same function as the bird’s wings, they are crucial for performing a lot of activities.

So, the average adult arm span is around 5.5-5.9 ft, and the California Condor’s wingspan is 10 feet, or 3.048 meters; despite the difference, we cannot deny that the California Condor with its wings wide open is larger than our arm span.

California Condor Vs Albatross Size Comparison

Now that we’ve compared the bird to humans, let’s see how they differ from their own species, birds.

The wandering albatross is the largest of several species. That is, albatrosses have the largest wingspan because they use their enormous wingspans to glide through the ocean breezes for hours without stopping or even flapping their wings.

If we compare the two on the basis of their height and weight then the Wandering Albatross has a height of 107 to 135 cm (3 ft 6 in to 4 ft 5 in) and weighs 6.35 to 11.91 kg (14.0 to 26.3 lb). On the other hand, the California Condor has an average height of 3.57 to 4.59 ft and weighs 7 to 14.1 kg (15 to 31 lb).

It’s incredible how these birds’ wingspans can reach 11 to 12 feet, whereas the California Condor’s wingspan is around 10 feet.

The Albatrosses’ wingspan difference of one foot makes them more advanced and efficient in flight. Furthermore, you would be surprised to learn that the Wandering albatross has the largest wingspan.

Birds HeightWeightWingspan
California Condor 3.57 to 4.59 ft 7 to 14.1 kg (15 to 31 lb)8.2 to 9.8 ft
Wandering Albatross107 to 135 cm (3 ft 6 in to 4 ft 5 in) 6.35 to 11.91 kg (14.0 to 26.3 lb)8 to 12 feet

The California Condor is lightweight and has a smaller wingspan than the Wandering Albatross, while both birds are quite similar in terms of their overall average height. 

California Condor Vs Bald Eagle Size

Another bird of prey like the Condors is the Eagle. The Bald Eagle is one of the most fascinating seabirds. The bald eagle is a predatory bird native to North America. Bald eagles are frequently found in large bodies of open water with plenty of food and old-growth trees for nesting.

Female bald eagles are often larger than males but have the same color as California Condors. Bald eagles can grow to be 2.5 to 3 feet (0.7 to 0.9 meters) tall, weigh 2 to 6.3 kg (5 to 14 lb), and have a wingspan of 5.9-7.7 ft.

On the other hand, the male California Condors are larger than the females and have an average height of 3.57 to 4.59 ft, weighs 7 to 14.1 kg (15 to 31 lb), and have a wingspan of about 10 feet. 

Birds HeightWeightWingspan
California Condor 3.57 to 4.59 ft 7 to 14.1 kg (15 to 31 lb)8.2 to 9.8 ft
Bald Eagle 2.5 to 3 feet (0.7 to 0.9 meters)2 to 6.3 kg (5 to 14 lb)5.9-7.7 ft

The Bald Eagle is smaller in comparison to the California Condors, as they are shorter in height, smaller in weight, and also have a smaller wingspan. 

California Condor Vs Andean Condor Size

Now that we have compared the California Condor with humans and other species of birds like Albatross and Eagles, it’s time to compare it with its own species.

The Andean Condor is one the most popular birds of prey in the Condor family. This is due to the fact that the Andean Condor is one of the largest birds in the world. 

The Andean Condor is the most closely related relative to the California Condor. The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is the only member of the genus Vulture.

The California Condor (4.5 feet) slightly outnumbers the Andean Condor in body length (four feet). The Andean Condor, on the other hand, wins in terms of weight (33 pounds) and wingspan (8.5-10.5 feet).

Birds HeightWeightWingspan
California Condor 3.57 to 4.59 ft 7 to 14.1 kg (15 to 31 lb)8.2 to 9.8 ft
Andean Condor 100–130 cm (3 ft 3 in – 4 ft 3 in)11.3 kg (25 lb)8.5-10.5 ft 

The Andean Condor and the California Condor have a slight difference in the overall height and length of their wingspan, but the Andean Condor is quite heavier than the California Condor. 


And that was everything you need to know about the California condor size. I hope this article was informative enough and you got something useful from it. 

Thank You For Reading!

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