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Crested Caracara

Caracara cheriway ORDER: FALCONIFORMES FAMILY: FALCONIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A tropical falcon version of a vulture, the Crested Caracara reaches the United States only in Arizona, Texas, and Florida. It is a bird of open country, where it often is seen at carrion with vultures.

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Year End Match

Appearance

Hawklike
Hawklike
Typical Voice

Adult Description

Large, long-legged raptor. Black cap with short crest at back. Pale sides of back and neck. Bare red skin on face. Black body. White tail with wide black tip. White patches at ends of dark wings. Faint barring on upper back and breast.

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to adult, but tawny brown instead of black; buffy, not white face; and with streaks, not barring on neck.

Range Map Help

Crested Caracara Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Black Vulture also has white in base of wingtips, but lacks white in tail and face.