The California condor is a he largest North American land bird. The adult California condor is a uniform black with the exception of large triangular patches or bands of white on the underside of the wings. It has gray legs and feet, an ivory-colored bill, a frill of black feathers surrounding the base of the neck, and brownish red eyes. The juvenile is mostly a mottled dark brown with blackish coloration on the head. It has mottled gray instead of white on the underside of its flight feathers.
The condor’s head and neck have few feathers, and the skin of the head and neck is capable of flushing noticeably in response to emotional state, a capability that can serve as communication between individuals.The skin color varies from yellowish to a glowing reddish-orange. The birds do not have true syringeal vocalizations. They can make a few hissing or grunting sounds only heard when very close.
The female is slightly smaller than the male. Overall length can range from 109 to 140 cm and wingspan from 2.5 to 3 m. Their weight can range from 7 to 14 kg, with estimations of average weight ranging from 8 to 9 kg.