The Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima) is a bird of prey in the family Falconidae. It is found in tropical and subtropical South America and the southern portion of Central America. Unlike the falcons in the same family, the caracara is not a fast-flying aerial hunter, but is rather sluggish and often obtains food by scavenging.
The Yellow-headed Caracara is 41–46 cm (16–18 in) centimetres in length and weighs 325 g (11.5 oz) on average. Like many other birds of prey, the female is larger than the male, weighing 310–360 g (11–13 oz) against the male’s 280–330 g (9.9–12 oz).
Apart from the difference in size, there is no significant sexual dimorphism in this species. It is broad-winged and long-tailed, somewhat resembling a small Buteo. The adult has a buff head, with a black streak behind the eye, and buff under-parts. The upper plumage is brown with distinctive pale patches on the flight feathers of the wings, and the tail is barred cream and brown. The head and under-parts of immature birds have dense brown mottling. The voice is a characteristic screamed schreee.
This is a bird of savannah, swamps and forest edges. The Yellow-headed Caracara is a resident bird from Costa Rica south through Trinidad and Tobago to northern Argentina
(the provinces of Misiones, Chaco, Formosa, Corrientes and Santa Fe). It is typically found from sea level to 1,800 m (5,900 ft), occasionally to 2,600 m (8,500 ft) above mean sea level.
In southern South America, it is replaced by a close relative, the Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango), whose range overlaps with that of the Yellow-headed Caracara in southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. A larger and stouter paleo subspecies, Milvago chimachima readei, occurred in Florida and possibly elsewhere some tens of thousands of years ago, during the Late Pleistocene. According to the Peregrine Fund database, the Yellow-headed Caracara is expanding its range into Nicaragua.
The Yellow-headed Caracara is omnivorous, and will eat reptiles, amphibians and other small animals as well as carrion. Birds are rarely if ever taken, and this species will not elicit warning calls from mixed-species feeding flocks that cross its path even in open cerrado habitat. It will also take ticks from cattle, and is locally called “tickbird”.
In addition, at least younger birds are fond of certain fruits, such as those of the Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) and Pequi (Caryocar brasiliense). It lays from five to seven brown-marked buff eggs in a stick nest in a tree.
The Yellow-headed Caracara has benefited from forest clearing for cattle ranching. Its status in Trinidad has changed from rare to fairly common, and it was first seen on Tobago in 1987. It adapts readily to urban areas and, together with species such as the American Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus), it is among the most commonly seen bird of prey in Latin American cities.
Consequently, this wide-ranging species has been assigned a risk level of Least Concern category on the IUCN Red List. In Panama City for example, as a result of the increased urban sprawl, Yellow-headed Caracara pairs are frequently seen along the rooftops in suburban neighborhoods.
(Source: Wikipedia – The Free Online Encyclopedia)
Apr 01, 2020By Sean Devers As the world copes with the unprecedented and continuously evolving threat of the Coronavirus athletes world-wide have faced training and competition disruptions that would undoubtedly...
Apr 01, 2020
Mar 31, 2020
Mar 31, 2020
Mar 31, 2020
Mar 31, 2020
The government passes a motion in parliament which carries weight, though the resolution isn’t made into legislation.... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders On 20 March 2020, a reckless and irresponsible General Assembly (GA) was held by the Organization... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]