Spring Break 2018: The Crested Caracara

Caracara cheriway, the Crested caracara;
Collier county, Florida (15 March 2018).
Series: Spring Break 2018.

Here are two fairly lame (“drive-by”) shots of one extraordinary bird species: The Crested caracara, Caracara cheriway. A member of the Falcon family, the Crested caracara is a large raptor that spends much of its time on the ground rooting about for carrion, as well as living amphibians, reptiles, or any other good stuff to eat. Federally listed as threatened in the United States, the Crested caracara is typically only seen in the southern portions of the Floridian peninsula — though it also natively ranges throughout much of central America and the northern reaches of South America in greater numbers. This was the first Crested caracara I’ve been able to photograph with any semblance of clarity — though these snapshots from a moving vehicle don’t exactly do the bird justice; it quickly flew away when we slowed down. I have no doubt it was trolling for watersnakes — just as we were. Nice.

Caracara cheriway, 15 March 2018

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