Crested Caracara
 Photo Crested Caracara Photo Crested Caracara Photo

General description.

The Crested Caracara is a large vulture like raptor in the falcon family. This bird is often found in open areas walking on the ground in search of food. This bird eats a wide variety of animals for insects to mammals and even carrion. During breeding season the males display by throwing their heads. This bird the only member of the falcon family that collects materials and builds its own nest instead of using an abandoned one. The nest is built in a dead tree, a live tree, or a shrub and is usually platform or cup shaped. This bird occurs in a very limited range and population sizes very throughout that range. Though it has declined in overall population, populations in Texas have been expanding.

Juvenile appearance.

Juvenile Crested Caracaras have brown bodies rather than black and their neck has streaks instead of bars.

Flight pattern.

Direct with steady wing beats. Sometimes soars on thermals.

Breeding habits.


Calls or song.


Population and distribution.

Anywhere from common to rare throughout its range. Populations have declined in recent years.

Nesting habits.

The Crested Caracara nests in dead trees, trees, shrubs and lays 1-4 white to pink eggs.

Similar birds:

Black Vulture Photo Black Vulture
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