One is the most fearsome predator in the animal kingdom, the other is one of the largest flying birds in the world.
One is nicknamed the “king of all birds” and sits at the very top of the food chain; the other has stomach acid so strong it can dissolve metal.
If you placed your bets on the larger and more powerful condor, you might be mistaken, as size might not always matter.
So, in an epic eagle vs condor duel, which bird has better odds of winning?
To determine the outcome of this fight, we will use the available information and analyze what would happen if a full-grown and healthy eagle was to clash with a full-grown healthy condor.
Since there are more than 60 eagle species in the world, we will be comparing USA’s most iconic bird, the bald eagle to the largest and the only condor found in the USA, the Californian condor.
Before we start, who do you see winning this duel?
Table of Contents
Comparing Eagles And Condors
|Bald Eagle||Californian Condor|
|Size||– Length: 28-40 in|
– Weight: 6.6-13.9 lb
– Wingspan: 90.5 in
|– Length: 43-55 in|
– Weight: 15-31 lb
– Wingspan: 98-118 in
|Speed And Movement||– 35-40 mph when flying|
– 75–99 mph when diving
|– 30-40 mph when flying|
|Grip Force||– 400 PSI||– n/a|
|Senses||– Excellent eyesight (5x better than humans)|
– Human-like hearing
|– Excellent eyesight|
– Good sense of hearing
|Defensive Powers||– Flying to escape|
– Great eyesight to spot danger from afar
– Sharp beaks and claws
|– Flying to escape|
– Living at high altitudes
– Excellent eyesight to spot danger from afar
– Size protection
|Offensive Powers||– Excellent diving speed|
– Large sharp beak
– Sharp claws (talons)
|– Strong beaks|
– Sharp claws
– Long legs
|Aggression Levels||– Moderate||– Low|
The 6 Key Factors In A Fight Between An Eagle And A Condor
Eagle Vs Condor – Size
American bald eagles are one of nature’s largest raptors.
They can grow up to 3.3 ft in length and have a wingspan up to 7.5 ft. One of the heaviest ever recorded bald eagles was from New York which weighed 18 pounds when caught.
California condors are the largest North American birds.
Their 9.8 ft wingspan is the widest of any bird on the continent, their weight of up to 26 pounds is among the heaviest, and their length ranges from 43 to 55 inches.
When comparing sizes, a condor has a huge advantage over an eagle, as it is a lot bigger and heavier bird.
Eagle Vs Condor – Speed, Movement, And Agility
With their huge wings and powerful wing beats, eagles can reach speeds of 35-43 mph with sudden bursts of up to 75 mph. They are excellent fliers and have top diving speeds between 75–99 mph. Bald eagles can even swim.
California condors have the largest wingspan of any North American bird which allows them to reach incredible flying speeds. Condors can reach flying speeds of up to 60 mph and fly to altitudes of 15,000 ft.
Similar to eagles, condors can also soar (use thermals to cross big distances without spending too much energy) and go for miles without a single flap of their wings.
Condors can reach higher sustained flying speeds than eagles, but eagles should have the advantage in maneuverability due to their slightly smaller size – it is tied in this category.
Eagle Vs Condor – Senses
Bald eagles’ strongest sense is their eyesight.
These birds have about 5 times better eyesight than humans which allows them to spot carrion and prey from miles away. They also have human-like hearing and a poor sense of smell.
Californian condors’ strongest sense is their eyesight.
Since they soar at extremely high altitudes, condors rely mostly on their keen eyesight to find food. Unlike other vultures, condors have a poor sense of smell – but have good hearing.
As both birds rely mostly on eyesight, it is even between the two in this category.
Eagle Vs Condor – Bite and Grip Force
Eagles have long, curved, and heavy beaks they use to tear flesh and inflict wounds. They also have 4 two-inch-long talons on each leg to grab and kill their prey – those talons can grow more prominent than a human’s hand.
The bald eagle’s grip strength is around 400 PSI (pounds per square inch) which is 10 times stronger than the average gripping strength of a human hand. The power of an eagle’s grip comes from its strong leg muscles, tendons, and bones.
Condors have beaks so sharp they can pierce the hide of a horse. Although they have sharp claws, condors’ feet are mostly flat, like the feet of a chicken, as opposed to the strong seizing talons of raptors like eagles. This means that they can’t grab and fly away with some small animal.
When it comes to bite and grip strength, eagles have an advantage over condors.
Eagle Vs Condor – Defensive Powers
Thanks to their well-developed eyesight, bald eagles can spot danger from miles away.
Since they are excellent in the air, eagles can also evade danger by flying away. They will release loud calls to warn others and even use their incredibly strong feet and sharp claws (talons) for defense.
Condors mostly rely on their size as a defensive mechanism. They also have extremely sharp beaks designed for tearing flesh. When nesting, condors might hiss, strike at enemies to drive them away, or simply fly away from danger.
Both birds have great defensive powers which makes it tied between the two in this regard.
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Eagle Vs Condor – Combat Skills
Like all raptors, bald eagles kill their prey with their talons.
When attacking, they will swoop down with their feet extended and razor-sharp talons out. Three on the front and one on the back (called the hallux) all face forward.
Bald eagles are considered maneuverable in flight, catching up to and then swooping under other birds in flight, turning over and thrusting their talons into the other bird’s flesh.
They are apex predators that sit at the top of the food chain, and nothing hunts or eats them – bald eagles are the ones that have been hunting and killing for millions of years.
Despite being considered birds of prey, condors do not kill for food. They are mostly scavengers that feed on carcasses of other animals like deer, cattle, whales, seals, etc. Using their beaks, they tear the flesh, but due to their not-too-dangerous feet, they can’t kill livestock or fly away with them – they will mostly eat already dead animals.
An eagle will have a clear advantage over a condor when it comes to combat skills.
|Speed and Agility||✔||✔|
Read More: Bald Eagle Vs Wolf – Who Wins?
Who Would Win In A Fight Between An Eagle And A Condor?
An eagle would beat a condor in a fight. Eagles are raptors that can hunt and fight both in the air and on land. Condors are scavengers, they do not kill animals and simply lack that predatory instinct eagles have.
In addition, eagles have two inches long razor-sharp and curved talons that are made for grabbing, hunting, and fighting, and can tear flesh in a second; condors have talons that are blunt and made more for walking than for hunting and killing.
Condors might be bigger but eagles are more aggressive and more dangerous – if they were to fight over a carcass, an eagle would win most of the time. They are simply far better equipt to fight.
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to read about the outcome of a fight between an eagle and a raven.