Photo by Chris Wood

Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara, an unique group of raptors, is sometimes grouped with either Hawks or Falcons. Crested caracara are a large and long-legged raptor. They have a black crown with a short crest on the back of the head and bare red skin on face. Their body is mostly black, with a white tail that has a wide black band on the tip. They can live over 30 years in captivity and about 18 years in the wild with a wingspan of about 4 feet wide.

These birds reside in the southwestern United States and Florida, Central America, and South America. They like to live in open, lowland countryside, pastures, savannas, and rivers. The Crested Caracara usually feeds on carrion, but they will take advantage of any food opportunity by eating small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, turtles, fish, crab, eggs, insects, worms, and nestling birds.

Photo by All About Birds

Photo by All About Birds

Photo by National Audubon Society

Photo by National Audubon Society

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