Fly without flapping? Andean condors surf air 99% of time

Two young condors fly in Sierra Paileman in the Argentina's Patagonia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005 after being released into the wild. The birds were raised in captivity as part of the Andean Condor Conservation project which was started in 1991 and bred in Buenos Aires Zoo. Financed by local and international funds the project is responsible for the reintroduction of almost 30 condors in four countries: Venezuela, Bolivia and Chile, in addition to Argentina. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko) **EFE OUT**

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study sheds light on just how efficiently the world’s largest soaring bird rides air currents to stay aloft for hours without flapping its wings.

The Andean condor has a wingspan stretching to 10 feet and weighs up to 33 pounds.

A study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that these birds spent just 1% of their time aloft flapping their wings, mostly during take-off.

One condor flew more than five hours and covered more than 100 miles without flapping its wings.

Categories: National News