BACKYARD BIRDING IN MERIDA, YUCATAN AND BEYOND – COUPLING?: CRESTED CARACARA

Caracara cheriway, Caracara Quebrantahuesos (Spanish), Mexican eagle

Coupling? Or practice? Although I did not capture the entire sequence, I say it’s practice since the female tail feathers appeared lowered the entire time I observed. However, note the position of the female’s right foot and her expressions, more or less, through the practice session. You can reach your own conclusions. Yes, I can anthropomorphize too.

Appropriately named and pictured below, a head throw-back display can be used to warn intruders, claim territory including mating opportunities, and claim food. It is accompanied by a rattling call.

SOUND LINK: https://www.xeno-canto.org/520166

Also called the Mexican Eagle, the Crested Caracara, a falcon, is a permanent resident in the Yucatan. Its range includes limited areas in the US, such as Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Arizona and also Baja. The range continues south through Middle America to Tierra del Fuego, South America. Some references specify several subspecies or others specify none.


1. Female Crested Caracara arrives
2. Male Crested Caracara performs head throw-back
3. Crested Caracara can cackle call or rattle call during head throw-back display.
4. Crested Caracara continues to call. Female’s full crop extends out of her plumage
5. Male approaches female Crested Caracara
6. Male prepares to mount female Crested Caracara
7. Female Crested Caracara looks ahead while male balances
8. Male balances on female Crested Caracara
9.-Male Crested Caracara prepares to leave
10. Female caracara keeps foot in same position and male Crested Caracara departs.

EXPECT SOMETHING WONDERFUL IN NATURE WHETHER YOU PHOTOGRAPH IT OR NOT.

REFERENCES DO NOT ALWAYS AGREE ON INFORMATION:

https://birdsoftheworld.org/bow/species/crecar1/cur/behavior#locom

Jarrod Swackhamer, XC520166. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/520166

Sal a Pajarear Yucatán, Bird & Reserves of the Yucatan Peninsula, A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and North Central America

Cherie Pittillo, “nature inspired,” photographer and author, explores nature everywhere she goes. She’s identified 56 bird species in her Merida, Yucatan backyard view. Her monthly column features anecdotes about birding in Merida, Yucatan and also wildlife beyond the Yucatan.

Contact: all4birdies@gmail.com  All rights reserved, ©Cherie Pittillo



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