Photo Essay

Mexican Eagle

MEASUREMENTS: The Crested Caracara has a body length of 19 - 23 inches, a 4-foot wingspan, and weighs 1 3/4 - 3 1/2 pounds. The bird's weight varies greatly depending on where it lives.

HABITAT: The Crested Caracaras' preferred habitat is open, lowland countryside, like pastures, savannas, river edges, and ranches. They may also be found in some forests and marshes. These birds reside in the southwestern United States and Florida, Central America, and South America.

DIET: The Crested Caracara usually feeds on carrion, but they will take advantage of any food opportunity by eating small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, turtles, fish, crab, eggs, insects, worms, and nestling birds. Caracaras hunt live food on the ground or take food from other birds.

REPRODUCTION: Crested Caracaras build a massive stick nest in a palm, cactus, tree, or on the ground. The female usually lays 2 - 3 eggs that are incubated for 28 - 32 days. The young caracaras have a drawn out fledging period, taking up to 3 months before they are flying as independent birds.

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