~Crested Caracara~

Crested Caracara

As described, in birding books: “The Crested Caracara often walks on the ground on long legs in search of prey”.

And, this is exactly where Howard and I saw this large raptor. We were out for a hike and as we crested a hill at The Celery Fields in Sarasota, Florida, we spotted this Crested Caracara across a large field. The Celery Fields are very picturesque and known as a great place to bird.

The big guy was on the ground, surrounded by Vultures, and appeared to be feeding on something in the grass. We decided to see if we could approach him close enough for me to capture a photo. As we got closer, he seemed so focused on his prey and with keeping the Vultures away, that he simply ignored us.

I didn’t want to get so close that my presence disturbed his eating, but close enough to get a few photos. He stayed on the ground eating for quite awhile and then flew off. As we walked over to see what he was eating, which appeared to us to be a huge catfish, the Vultures flew  off  unhappy with us!

Stands about 20-25 inches

The Crested Caracara is fairly common in Texas; rare to casual and local in Azizona; rare in Louisiana; fairly common and local in Florida.

Their Florida and Arizona populations are stable with Texas population increasing and expanding.  They are considered threatened federally and in Florida.

Feeding on a Catfish

A beautiful raptor indeed!

Sharing with Eileen at Saturday’s Critters



17 thoughts on “~Crested Caracara~”

  1. Hello Sheila, great post and info on the Crested Caracara.. It is a cool bird! Your photos are wonderful.. I have heard about the spot called the Celery Fields, I will have to remember to visit there on my next trip! Thank you for linking up and sharing your critter post.. Have a happy weekend!

    1. You are welcome Eileen, it is my pleasure! The Caracara is a cool bird and I was thrilled to have captured a photo. The Celery Fields are worth a visit ; so glad to see an area set aside for wildlife!

    1. Thank you Ingrid! I was lucky that this Caracara was more interested in eating than us approaching him! All we can do is keep trying to get those photos. It is fun trying!

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