Crested Caracara

Polyborus Plancus

About the Crested Caracara

The Crested Cara Cara is a bird of prey of the Falconidae Family. Unlike falcons that are fast flying airbourne hunters, Cara Caras spend much of their time on the ground and are relatively slow moving. The Crested Caracara is broad-winged and long tailed. It also has long legs and frequently walks and runs on the ground. The adult has a black body, wings, crest and crown. The neck, rump, and wing patches are white, and the tail is white with black barring. It’s preferred habitat is open, lowland countryside, like pastures and savannas. They are mainly scavengers but will also take the opportunity to hunt live prey on the ground such as smalls mammals, fish, crabs and nesting birds. They will also take food from other birds. They build a large nest in a palm, cactus, tree, or on the ground. The female usually lays 2 – 3 eggs that are incubated for 28 – 32 days. The young caracaras have a drawn out fledging period, taking up to 3 months before they are flying as independent birds.


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