Crested Caracara

The Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) is a member of the falcon family despite its quite non falcon-like behavior and appearance. It occurs in Florida, Texas and Arizona and southward into the tropical areas of Central and South America. A similar species, the Southern Caracara (Caracara plancus) occurs all the way south to the Tierra del Fuego area of South America. The Crested Caracara will often feed on snakes, lizards, and other live prey, but it will readily feed on carrion as well. This species has often been referred to as "Mexican Eagle" and is, in fact, thought to be the bird depicted on the national emblem of Mexico. The birds shown in the image on the left were feeding on a dead cow in a Texas pasture and present what might be considered a typical Texas view of this species. Note the bulging crops of both birds. This photo was taken in June, 2000, from a blind on a private ranch in Kenedy Co., Texas with a Canon EOS 3 and Canon EF600mm F4L lens from a Gitzo tripod on Fuji Provia film. This particular photo won 1st place in the birds of prey division of the Valley Land Fund 2000 Photo Contest. The bird below was photographed in February 2002, also in Kenedy Co., Texas with a Canon EOS 1V and Canon EF 500 mm F4L IS lens on Fuji Velvia film. Finally, the below sunset shot of two caracaras was also taken in February 2002 in Kenedy Co., Texas. Actually, all the shots on this page taken in 2002 and before were taken in Kenedy Co., Texas. More recent photos will be posted below from 2006.


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