Backyard birding has become a popular pastime for many who are currently confined to their homes due to stay-at-home regulations. But when you live in a high-rise block of flats in Chile and the resident birds are super-sized condors, it’s a hobby that may result in the termination of your pet poodle …

A pair of Andean condors were recently caught on camera parading on a balcony railing at the home of Gabriela Leonardi who lives on the 13th floor of a building in Santiago. The colossal raptors appeared to be showing an interest in Leonardi’s three pet poodles that were filmed yapping excitedly while the avian visitors pecked at the glass that separated bird from canine.

"The condors come here quite a lot at the moment … but especially since the lockdown they have certainly been [visiting] more frequently,” Leonardi explained to media outlets, adding that the birds are harmless and only want to play with her dogs. While we’re not convinced that the interaction is playful, it’s true that Andean condors get the majority of their food through scavenging, so the poodles may not be in immediate risk of death-by-talons. We’d recommend keeping the windows closed though.

The birds have been visiting Leonardi on and off for the last two years, which is hardly surprising considering she provides them with fresh water, an occasional scrap from the barbecue, and a trio of poodles to peck at.

With wings that stretch up to ten feet across, Andean condors are amongst the largest flying birds in the world. Their impressive wingspan helps keep them aloft as they spend much of their time effortlessly gliding on air currents in search of food. Found throughout the Andes Mountain range, these floppy headed vultures are a national symbol of many South American countries.

Although they are in far better shape than their Californian cousins, populations of Andean condors are in decline as they have increasingly come under threat from habitat destruction and human-wildlife conflict. Like other vultures, condors play an important ecological role as nature’s clean-up crew, helping to rid the landscape of bacteria-carrying carcasses. Their decline is concerning for conservationists. Thankfully, organisations like the Peregrine Fund have been working in South America to support research and monitoring efforts as well as education and community outreach programs.

According to Leonardi, no poodles were harmed in the making of her video.