Crested Caracara Pictures, Images and Stock Photos

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The Crested Caracara (aka Mexican eagle) is related to the typical falcons, but very different in shape and habits. It is a medium-sized, bulky raptor with long legs. Its straight wings with four-foot wingspan and diamond shaped tail are designed for strong, swift flight. Its flat head is topped with a shaggy cap. In an adult, the cap, most of the wings, belly, thighs and tail tip are dark brownish to black. The rest of the body is either whitish or whitish barred dark brownish. The legs are yellow and facial skin and part of the beak are deep yellow to deep orange. Juveniles are paler than adult. It lives in a wide variety of semi-open habitats offering open ground for hunting and dense cover for nesting. It is an opportunistic hunter and scavenger. It is often seen patrolling highways for roadkill and stole food from other birds. Its sharp eyesight helps it spots prey from the air at both great heights and low to the ground. It feeds on a wide variety of smaller creatures, either captured alive or found dead like rabbits, squirrels, skunks, birds, amphibians, and small reptiles. It might even scratch on the ground for insects or dig up turtle eggs.

Also known as a Carancho, the Southern Crested Caracara (latin name Caracara Planus) is one of the raptors found in Argentina but also in other parts of South America. This bird was photographed in the Nahuel Huapi National Park in the Patagonia area near Bariloche.

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