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Caracara

Connie Kelts

A wanderer by nature, my art reflects my passion. Wild places and the wonders of nature are my inspiration. My unconventional history has molded me into what I am today.

April 19, 2021

I have had the privileged of hanging out with a pair of these impressive birds of prey for the last year. After moving into a new place one of the first things that caught my eye was this beautiful master of the sky. I spent the next three months trying to spot it again. Finally I found their nesting area and have had the chance to take more photos of them on numerous occasions. They never cease to raise my heart rate.

You will no doubt notice one has had a serious accident in times past. He is missing a foot and a portion of his lower leg. I suppose this makes feeding from their usual perch difficult. Fortunately they are known for eating on the ground. Landing is tricky but after some aerial maneuvering standing on one leg doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Habitation has declined in parts of U.S. range, habitat loss being a major factor. There is some evidence of recent increases in Texas. The distinctive race on Guadalupe Island, Mexico, became extinct in 1900.

Related to the typical falcons, but very different in shape and habits. The Crested Caracara is a strikingly patterned, broad-winged opportunist that often feeds on carrion. Aggressive, it may chase vultures away from road kills. “Caracara” comes from a South American Indian name, based on the bird’s call which is a high harsh cackle .

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