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Frank Lambert, age 8, of Billings, Mont., for his question:

WHAT IS THE LARGEST BIRD IN NORTH AMERICA?

A large vulture called the condor is the largest land bird on the North American continent. It is usually called the California condor.

The California condor has an almost unbelievable wingspread of from eight and a half to 10 feet wide. The body length is between 45 and 55 inches and the bird weighs between 20 and 25 pounds.

Only about 40 California condors are still living today. They can be bound in a sanctuary in Los Padres National Forest in Southern California.

Like other vultures, the condor feeds mainly on the bodies of dead animals.

The California condor nests in caves high on cliffs. The female lays one egg on the bare floor of the cave, not bothering to build a nest. She does not breed until she is six years old and then lays only one egg every two years. Young condors grow slowly.

 

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