Condor Dive-Bombing and other Animals Around Macusani, Carabaya Province

A condor dive-bombing was the biggest highlight of Rocío and my two amazing October 2016 day trips from Macusani. Other animals in the Carabaya Province of Peru’s Puno Region included flamingos, Andean geese, a native rodent and domestic livestock.

Andean Condor Hunting and Dive-Bombing

Hiking back from Pitumarka to Ccochauma we had just turned the corner after Lake Qañuqota when we witnessed a truly special sight. In the sky an Andean condor, one of the world’s largest flying birds, was repeatedly hovering then flying, hovering then flying, sometimes as a silhouette in the sky, other times against mountains.

Although I had seen condors before, even quite close, nothing matched this occasion.

Andean condor hovering in front of snowy mountain, Ayapata District, Peru

The condor hovering in front of a snowy mountain peak

This juvenile bird had brown feathers unlike black adult condors. Andean condors are New World vultures and usually scavenge dead carcases for food. To see it hunt from the sky was a rare experience. In fact, local guide Ulices had never previously seen a condor hunt.

Andean condor hovering in front of rocky mountain, Ayapata District, Peru

The brown juvenile condor hovering in front of a closer, lower mountain range

After one final hover the condor folded its wings and plunged dramatically head first. Luckily my camera had a 30 times zoom, enabling me to capture this sensational moment.

My footage of the condor hunting and dive-bombing; upon searching, I couldn’t find any similar videos on YouTube

Back at the vehicle, the driver, who wasn’t with us, concurred with Ulices’ opinion that the condor was likely hunting a calf (juvenile cow). Ulices explained that once killed, the condor would pull the calf’s intestines out from from its rear and leave the remaining animal for pumas and wolves.

Other Birds

Our two private day tours were predominantly at elevations between 3,500 to 4,300 metres high. Here we spotted multiple bird species.

Pink Flamingo in lake, Carabaya Province, Puno, Peru

A flamingo outside Macusani town

Bird on dry-stone wall, Carabaya Province, Peru

This small bird is perched on a dry-stone wall

Andean goose, on stone above lake surface, Carabaya Province, Peru

An Andean goose between Macusani and Tantamaco; these birds are generally found in pairs around swamps and lakes above 3,000 metres

Neotropical birds, Marca Marca, Tantamaca, Macusani, Peru

Birds adjacent the Marca Marca pre-Inca ruins

Viscacha Rodent

Near Corani we saw a viscacha. This rodent resembles and is often compared with the rabbit. Some locals hunt viscacha for food.

Viscacha, wild rodent, Carabaya Province, Peru

A viscacha on a rock near Corani in Carabaya Province, southern Peru

Domestic Animals: Camelids, Cattle and Sheep

Herders raise llamas, alpacas, cattle and sheep in the high Andes mountains, housing them in dry-stone corrals at night for protection from the cold and predators such as pumas, wolves and smugglers.

Stone corral for domestic animals, Andes, Carabaya Province, Puno Region

A corral used to hold livestock

Semi-wild cattle, Pitumarka, Ayapata District, Carabaya Province

Semi-wild cattle blocked our path near the primary Pitumarka archaeological site in Ayapata District

Wide wall livestock path, Pitumarka, Carabaya Province This rock wall has been constructed wide enough for livestock to walk on when transferring between corrals

Llamas admiring snowy peaks near Tantamaco, Macusani District, Puno Region Two llamas, one with decorated ears, have an amazing view of snowy Andes peaks near Tantamaco

Alpacas in front of rock forest, Corani, Carabaya Province, Peru

Alpacas near the rock forest in Corani District

Near a river locals slaughtered alpacas and or llamas for their meat and skins.

Slaughtering llamas in the rain adjacent river, Carabaya Province, Peru

People dressing butchered alpacas and or llamas in the rain next to a river

Alpacas and sheep, Carabaya Province, Puno Region

Llamas with decorated ears and sheep graze in the high Andes tundra

One thought on “Condor Dive-Bombing and other Animals Around Macusani, Carabaya Province

  1. Pingback: Two Amazing Day Trips from Macusani, Carabaya Province, Peru | Where is

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