The crested caracara is a bird of prey that belongs to the falcon family. They are found in the southwestern parts of the U.S. and in Central and South America. The crested caracara inhabits savannas, pastures, grasslands, scrublands, open countryside and areas near rivers. These birds are also found in forests and marshes. They are equally able to walk as they are to fly. Read more about these raptors below. Be sure to comment!
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Caracara cheriway
Weight: Up to 3.3 lbs.
Length: Up to 23 inches
Wingspan: Up to 50 inches
Lifespan: Up to 9 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) To intimidate nest intruders, Crested Caracaras may clack their beaks, or break off dry twigs to make a snapping sound.
2.) Their diet consists of lizards, frogs, turtles, small mammals, other birds, insects, crabs, fish, and worms. However, they tend to go after carrion (dead animals) as it’s easier to get than hunting for live animals. They are also known for stealing food that other animals have killed.
3.) They aren’t as agile at flying as other raptors, so they prefer to walk.
4.) These raptors make a rattling and cackling call while throwing its head backwards. This behavior is known as head-throwback display.
5.) Caracaras are diurnal (active during the day).
But wait, there’s more on the caracara!
6.) Caracara are solitary except during mating season.
7.) Mating takes place between spring and summer
Did you know…?
The crested caracara is the Mexico’s national bird. It is also known as the “Mexican eagle” because of its eagle-like appearance.
8.) Bonded pairs are formed year-round and they can stay together for several years.
9.) Crested caracaras build large nests made out of sticks, branches, and vines typically in palm trees. But sometimes they build nests on the ground.
10.) Females lay 2 – 3 eggs that hatch after 27 – 33 days. Both parents participate in egg incubation.