Crested Caracara

Caracara cheriway

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Falcons (Falconidae)

Code 4

CRCA

Code 6

CARCHE

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Crested Caracara has a large range, estimated globally at 4,300,000 square kilometers. It is native to the nations of Central and South America as well as the United States, Mexico, and many island nations and prefers wetland, shrubland, grassland, even pasture or plantation land ecosystems. The global population of this bird is 100,000-1,000,000 individuals and it does not appear to meet population decline criteria that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. The current evaluation status of the Crested Caracara is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Crested Caracara: Large, ground-dwelling falcon, black body, finely barred tail, wing panels and upper breast. Head crest is black, facial skin is red, and large bill is blue-gray and hooked. Legs are long and yellow. Strong steady wing beats alternated with long to short glides. Soars on thermals.


Range and Habitat

Crested Caracara: Resident from Baja California to eastern Texas, and south throughout much of Mexico and into Panama. Also found in extreme southern Arizona, southwestern Louisiana, central Florida, and parts of the West Indies. Preferred habitats include prairies, savannas, desert scrub, and seashores.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"wick-wick-wick-wick-querrr"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Although it looks like a long-legged hawk and associates with vultures, it is actually in the same family as falcons.
  • A common subject of folklore and legends throughout Central and South America, the Crested Caracara is sometimes referred to as the “Mexican eagle.”
  • A group of falcons has many collective nouns, including a "bazaar", "eyrie", "ringing up", "stooping up", and "tower" of falcons.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Crested Caracara

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Upper mandibleX
The upper part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X