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Ugly But Magnificent

Andean Condor

Andean Condor

Andean Condors, like all members of the vulture family, are not exactly cute; but with their 10-foot wingspans, they are awe-inspiring. The only time I ever saw Vultur gryphus was on in Argentinian Patagonia, on my way to the dock to take a cruise to see the glaciers that feed into Lago Argentino. There were two of them a few miles out of El Calafate visible from the left side of the bus. Of course, by the time I got my camera out, they had swooped around the hill and out of sight.

In Peru, I hope to photograph them at Colca Canyon, about a hundred miles northwest of Arequipa. The Canyon has a depth of 13,650 feet (4,160 meters), making it twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in Arizona. I will try to take a tour that stops at Cruz del Condor, where they tend to glide in large numbers past a viewing point looking for their favorite carrion. I hope I can get a few pictures to bring back and post on this blog site.

Colca Canyon is probably the third most popular tourist destination in Peru, after Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca.