- 19.3–22.8 in
- 47.2 in
- 37–45.9 oz
- Audubon's Caracara
- Caracara du Nord (French)
- Carancho, Caraira, Quelele, Totache (Spanish)
- A common subject of folklore and legends throughout Central and South America, the Crested Caracara is sometimes referred to as the "Mexican eagle."
- Although it looks like a long-legged hawk and associates with vultures, the Crested Caracara is actually in the same family as falcons.
- The oldest recorded Crested Caracara was at least 21 years, 9 months old when it was observed in the wild in 2015 in Florida and identified by it's band. It had been banded in the same state in 1994.
Open country, including pastureland, cultivated areas and semi-desert, both arid and moist habitats but more commonly in the former.
Insects; small and occasionally large vertebrates, including fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals; eggs; and carrion of all types.
- Clutch Size
- 1–4 eggs
- Condition at Hatching
- Helpless and covered in down.
Crested Caracara populations increased between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 2 million, with 5% living in the U.S., and 28% in Mexico. The species rates an 8 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Crested Caracara is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. The recent U.S. increase in populations is a turnaround from historical declines. A subspecies, the Audubon’s Crested Caracara in central Florida, is federally listed as threatened.
- References Morrison, J. L. 1996. Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus). In The Birds of North America, No. 249 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, ECOS-Environmental Conservation Online System, Audubon's crested caracara (Polyborus plancus audubonii).
- North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2016. The State of North
America’s Birds 2016. Environment and Climate Change Canada: Ottawa, Ontario.
- Partners in Flight. 2012. Species assessment database.
- USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2016. Longevity records of North American Birds.
- USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2015. North American Breeding Bird Survey 1966–2015 Analysis.