Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Crested Caracara

The first raptor I saw on arriving in Los Llanos was predictably this one, Crested caracara.

crested caracara2

The bird in question was feasting on the flattened remains of heaven only knows what on the side of a road. Nice. Happily this one opted for a more scenic location exploring a tree branch along the side of the river.

crested caracara3

As the roadside behaviour suggests these are opportunistic feeders and they show all the intelligence require for such behaviour. By way of example I've always had a soft spot for caracara after a falconer told me about how one of his Johnny Rooks used to like to delve into women's handbags to see what goodies it could find and steal. This one was keeping its eye on us as I think it knew we had bait in the form of raw chicken on the boat.

crested caracara

It might even have got some had it stayed with us but something below caught its eye and away it sailed. I was surprised how skittish this species was in general - this was the only individual I got within (decent) photo range of notwithstanding their abundance.

4 comments:

jason said...

Great shots! And you're right about them being skittish. I encountered several during recent trips along the Gulf Coast in Texas but had a difficult time getting them to stay within range for a photo session.

Floridacracker said...

A bird we have here in FL, but I have yet to photograph.

Nice photos!

tai haku said...

Thank you both - are the birds in Texas from the Florida relict population or birds moving north from Mexico Jason?

jason said...

The northernmost edge of the main population stretches up from Mexico into the central part of Texas. They're a common year-round resident (that get amazingly close to Dallas where I live, but they never quite reach this far).