Monday, July 06, 2009

Venezuelan raptor week 2: Yellow Headed Caracara

Yellow Headed Caracara? This is nonsense - It doesn't even have a yellow head!

yellow headed caracara juv1

Actually that was just a (particularly whiny juvenile). Here's its parent (which was also making a racket):

yellow headed caracara1

These attractive little raptors were probably the most commonly seen species in our time in the Llanos (after the massed vultures). They seem to be rather generalist and are by no means lacking in smarts. The two above had worked out they might be able to wrangle some of the chicken that was being fed to the caiman (as seen here) and squawked their hearts out til they got some. Meanwhile the one below dived in to nick a bit of fish that our guide had intended to use to lure a black-collared hawk from its perch. I had to crop this photo to make the caracara stand out for the blog but in the original there are a pair of enormous feet looming into the top of the frame as the black-collar arrives a fraction of a second too late.
yellowhead caracara

They also seem to be endearingly social, we would often see them flying in pairs or following one another with only the occasional squabble….

yellowheaded caracaras


warminf said...

great sait ! i like this and we need to save this birds its our rsponsebleti!

Keetha Broyles said...

Gorgeous - - - even the whiny juvenile.

jason said...

Wow! They're beautiful. Great shots. I find it humorous they were willing to beg for a free meal.

tai haku said...

Thanks all - these are lovely little characters and I'm glad y'all liked them