Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Southern Lapwings scaring off a Southern Crested Caracara

Caracara plancus


Spotted this Southern Crested Caracara in the wetlands of Arroyo Maldonado, Uruguay. The Southern Crested Caracara, also known as the Southern Caracara or Carancho, is a bird of prey in the family Falconidae. A bold, opportunistic raptor, the southern crested caracara is often seen walking around on the ground looking for food. It mainly feeds on carcasses of dead animals, but will steal food from other raptors, raid bird nests, and take live prey if the possibility arises (mostly insects or other small prey. It has a total length of 50–65 cm and a wingspan of 120–132 cm. Weight is 0.9-1.6 kg. In this event, it was being attacked by a pair of Southern Lapwings (Vanellus chilensis), who were eventually successful in chasing off the raptor. Southern Lapwings are ferocious when it comes to defending their nesting areas.


The southern crested caracara occurs from Tierra del Fuego in southernmost South America north to the Amazon River region and southern Peru. An isolated population occurs on the Falkland Islands. It avoids the Andean highlands and dense humid forest, such as the Amazon rainforest, where it is largely restricted to relatively open sections along major rivers. Otherwise, it occurs in virtually any open or semi-open habitat and is often found near humans.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Spotted by

Maldonado, Uruguay

Spotted on Aug 29, 2014
Submitted on Sep 2, 2014

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors

Join the Project Noah Team Join Project Noah Team