|Crested Caracara Caracara
(aka Northern Caracara)
The Crested Caracara is very similar to the Southern Caracara (Caracara plancus) the main visual difference being that the Northern Caracara has more black on the lower back. Evidence that the Crested Caracara is a separate species was presented by Dove & Banks in 1999 in the Wilson Bulletin 111(3): 330-339.
|The Crested Caracara is
distributed from the southern USA to the north of South America
(Colombia, Ecuador, northern Peru, Venezuela, Trinidad, the
Guianas) and in Brazil to the north of and along the Amazon
In the narrow contact zone between Crested and Southern Caracara along the Amazon river there are individual birds which show features of both species.
|They are found in open and
semi-open country and is one of the few species to have benefited
by the spread of ranching.
It is an opportunistic feeder, feeding mainly on carrion but also live small animals, nestlings, etc..
The third photo shows an immature bird with browner and streakier plumage. Notice that the face colour is pink rather than orange.
The following is a recording by Jeremy Minns in which each vocalization consists of two or three short introductory notes and then a long note, during which the bird bent its neck back till its head touched its back.
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