A Pair of Crested Caracaras


My last post ended with me on Cloud 9 from experiencing an awesome photo session with two Reddish Egrets, with the hint of another incredible opportunity of another bird I’ve been looking for, a falcon called a Crested Caracara.  (I last photographed it in 2016.)


And so, there I was, driving back from the grocery store, when I see perched up in a tree alongside the highway, a pair of Crest Caracaras.


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Crested Caracaras


OMGosh!  I  had to drive a little further to make a U-turn and went back to them.


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Crested Caracaras


This tropical-looking falcon primarily lives in Central and South America, but some are now residing year-round in southern areas of Florida, Texas, and Arizona.


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Crested Caracara


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Crested Caracara


The falcons were watching me and suddenly both swooped down to the side of the road in front of me.


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Crested Caracara with some type of road-kill


These falcons act similar to a vulture in having an appetite for carrion.  I have a feeling they were watching that road-kill from the tree, then I showed up and threatened them on losing it.  (yuk, not me!)  They flew down and took off with it, the first one with the piece in its mouth, followed by the second carrying the rest of what looks like a dead snake.


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Crested Carcara carrying off what looks like a dead snake


First the Reddish Egrets, and then the Crested Caracaras!  Oh yeah, that Cloud 9 lasted the rest of the day…..



56 thoughts on “A Pair of Crested Caracaras

      • I just emailed a friend who has employees working down the inlet. I told him If they spot any Orcas to give me a call!!
        Orca’s are what gets my blood pumping! Travelling with a pod for hours is just something that cannot be explained.

        • I’d be on board for that too! We’ve run with dolphins and that in itself was a thrill, I cannot imagine how high my adrenaline would be cruising with a pod of Orcas for ours. WOW! I’m hoping you get the call and we get to see the photos!!

    • Thank you, Reed! These an hour after the Reddish Egrets had me floating the rest of the day. πŸ™‚ I’ve seen them down here before and twice up just north of Lake Okeechobee around Taylor WMA.

  1. How wonderful Donna, lifers one after the other. These raptors are beautiful creatures, and you captured them so well. What a treasury of photos you are composing my friend πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Ashley! Sorry to say I didn’t increase my lifer count with the Caracara, I have already photographed them back in 2016. But I’ve known they were down here where I’m at now and have been hoping and watching for one. Getting two Caracaras was such a bonus! πŸ™‚

  2. Wow, the gods were smiling on you this day! These looked in great health (guess there is enough roadkill around, eh?). πŸ˜‰ Don’t they look like they are wearing cheap toupees?

  3. What a great sighting, Donna. They are cool looking birds. And you managed to get some excellent shots. Lucky they came down from the tree for a visit, too. A little luck sure does help in photography. πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve been going to Florida for many, many years and I never saw a Caracara. You’re so lucky, Donna. Good thing that you got some pictures. One time in Tampa I saw an Scarlet Ibis in a tree, as soon as I grabbed my camera, flew away and I lost the opportunity to have a photo of it. Great shots, I’m sure that you must have at least a hundred of them! πŸ™‚ πŸ‘

  5. These are incredible shots, Donna! I would imagine you had trouble sleeping that night, after such an amazing day. Thanks for sharing! We have seen them on various trips – Amazon, Cost Rica, Mexico, but I’ve never gotten a shot anything close to these. Congrats!

    • Thank you, Susan! I had this bird on my list to try to find again (I photographed it twice in 2016), even asked a couple pro-birders who said it was luck to see them. I believe luck was on my side that morning! πŸ™‚

  6. Awesome capture πŸ“· Donna. Thank you for sharing. Something I do miss is the Raptor drives my friend and I usually did. She drove one way and I would take photos when we turned around I drove and she would take photos. Fun times….

    • Thank you, Mike, most glad to share! Eating like a vulture helps keep the smelly carcasses down! πŸ™‚ I read they are sometimes seen with vultures, trying to get their turn at a carrion. I’ll pay more attention to that scenario now down here!

  7. Wow! You’re definitely in a birding paradise! How interesting to have the Crested Caracaras moving in from Central and South America. Great photos – thanks for the introduction to these new residents.

  8. These are terrific photos. Looking closely at the last one, looks like the snake was eating something when the falcon grabbed it. Circle of life.

    • Thank you, Takami! The birds have been my sanity through this pandemic, I’m thankful I’ve been able to roam freely in remote areas. Hope all is well with you and your family!

  9. OMG Donna!!!!! How awesome to see those. I’ve NEVER seen them down in the Everglades. You were in Everglades City when you saw them? How special!! I am totally in awe of your ability to be in the right place at the right time. So special!

    • Thank you, Audrey! No, not seen in Everglades City. They were along Rt 41 heading to Naples, after San Marco Rd. I saw one again yesterday in the same area when Rick drove (flew lol) by. πŸ™‚

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