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Merlin Bird ID

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    Crested Caracara Life History


    Habitat ScrubOpen country, including pastureland, cultivated areas and semi-desert, both arid and moist habitats but more commonly in the former.Back to top


    Food OmnivoreInsects; small and occasionally large vertebrates, including fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals; eggs; and carrion of all types.Back to top


    Nest Placement

    Nest Tree

    Nesting Facts
    Clutch Size:1-4 eggs
    Condition at Hatching:Helpless and covered in down.
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    Behavior Ground ForagerBack to top


    Conservation Low ConcernCrested 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. Back to top


    Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

    Morrison, Joan L. and James F. Dwyer. 2012. Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

    Partners in Flight. 2017. Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

    Sauer, J. R., D. K. Niven, J. E. Hines, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J., K. L. Pardieck, J. E. Fallon and W. A. Link. The North American breeding bird survey, results and analysis 1966-2015 (Version 2.07.2017). USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center 2017.

    Sibley, David Allen. 2014. The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A Knopf, New York.

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