A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Adult Description Large, long-legged raptor. Black cap with short crest at back. Pale sides of back and neck. Bare red skin on face. Black body. White tail with wide black tip. White patches at ends of dark wings. Faint barring on upper back and breast. Immature Description Juvenile similar to adult, but tawny brown instead of black; buffy, not white face; and with streaks, not barring on neck.
The Crested Caracaras’ preferred habitat is open, lowland countryside, like pastures, savannas, river edges, and ranches. They may also be found in some forests and marshes. These birds reside in the southwestern United States and Florida, Central America, and South America.
Unlike other members of the falcon family that do not construct nests, the caracara builds a stick nest. The caracara is the most terrestrial bird in the falcon group. It spends a great deal of time on the ground.