Though every time I go birding in Florida, US, I see that people had sightings of this bird, but I never have seen it in Florida! I found this one in Texas, US, this is the only one that I have ever seen and I was super excited to add it to my life list! The photo is not so good since when I saw this bird I was some distance away, but I really wanted to document my sighting for my records. Unfortunately, when I started to walk a bit closer to the bird, it flew away!
A large bird with a colorful face, black belly and crest. The Crested Caracara is a member of the Falcon family. They live in semi-open habitats with open grounds for hunting and cover for nesting. Will often feed on carrion, they will chase vultures away from food. Also known to eat small animals found dead or alive, such as rabbits, frogs, lizards, snakes, young alligators, fish and various birds. Often hunting my flying above highways early in the mornings to find road kill. Other times they will fly low and take small animals by surprise. Their name “Caracara” comes from a South American Indian name, they were named for their calls.
Often times they will build on top of an old nest of other species or reuse their’s from the previous year, adding more material each year. In Guadalupe Island, Mexico they became extinct in 1900. In parts of the US their numbers have declined due to shooting and loss of habitat. In Texas, US though, it looks like their population might be increasing!