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Shadow of the Condor

Classroom Activity

To observe and list the physical features of the condor and make inferences about its habits.

Materials for each team
  • copy of "Do You Know This Bird?" student handout (HTML)
  1. Before watching, copy and distribute the "Do You Know This Bird?" student handout. Ask students to observe and list the physical features of the condor. Have them make a second list, based on these observations, of inferences about its habits—how and what it eats, where it might live, and what may cause its extinction. As they watch the program, instruct students to look for information that supports or refutes their inferences.

  2. Have students share the information they gathered from the program. What did they find out about the condor's eating and living habits? What did they learn about the causes for its extinction? Add the new causes to the list you began before watching. You may want to share the former and present range of the condor presented in Program Contents.

Activity Answer

Before viewing the program, student observations and inferences about the condor should be based solely on the picture. The condor, at an adult weight of as much as 25 pounds, is the world's heaviest fully-flighted bird. Such features as its sharp curved beak and large scaly talons might indicate that the bird is a predator (in fact, condors, like most other vultures, eat decaying animal remains). The broad wingspan (nearly nine and a half feet) of the animal may indicate that it can fly over large areas and needs a large nesting area.

Teacher's Guide
Shadow of the Condor

Video is required for this activity