This is a Crested Caracara that resides at the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park in Homosassa Springs, Florida. See info below about this bird.

Canon EOS Rebel XSi/450D, Canon 55-250 lens
1/40s, f/5.6, ISO 800, focal length 90.0mm

FEATURED in Animals Plus Wild Bird Photography, April 3, 2012
FEATURED in The Birds, April 1, 2012

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website – ALL ABOUT BIRDS
A tropical falcon version of a vulture, the Crested Caracara reaches the United States only in Arizona, Texas, and Florida. It is a bird of open country, where it often is seen at carrion with vultures.
Adult Description
Large, long-legged raptor. Black cap with short crest at back. Pale sides of back and neck. Bare red skin on face. Black body. White tail with wide black tip. White patches at ends of dark wings. Faint barring on upper back and breast.
Immature Description
Juvenile similar to adult, but tawny brown instead of black; buffy, not white face; and with streaks, not barring on neck.
Cool Facts
A common subject of folklore and legends throughout Central and South America, the Crested Caracara is sometimes referred to as the “Mexican eagle.”
Although it looks like a long-legged hawk and associates with vultures, the Crested Caracara is actually in the same family as falcons.
Open country, including pastureland, cultivated areas and semi-desert, both arid and moist habitats but more commonly in the former.
Insects; small and occasionally large vertebrates, including fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals; eggs; and carrion of all types.
Populations in United States have declined historically, but currently appear stable or slightly increasing. Classified as “threatened” in Florida. Common and widespread throughout Neotropics.


bird, caracara, crested caracara, homosassa, wildlife, wildllife park, raptor, bird of prey, falcon

Having lived most of my life in the northeast U.S., I am enjoying retired life in sunny Florida. I enjoy photographing many different kinds of things, but especially flowers and animals, including the beautiful birds found here in Florida. I am currently using a Canon EOS Rebel XSi/450D camera, a Canon 55-250 mm telescopic zoom lens, and a Sony P10 Cyber-shot digital camera. My newest acquisition is a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS, a point and shoot which I will be carrying in my purse.

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  • NatureGreeting Cards ©ccwri
    NatureGreeting...over 2 years ago

    What a GORGEAOUS bird, Dot!! I have never seen one before!

  • Thank you, Carolyn. I had never seen one before either! It is one of the injured birds that are cared for at the wildlife center.

    – AuntDot

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotover 2 years ago

    Crested Caracara 2

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELover 2 years ago

    Wow what a beautiful bird Dot… I have never seen or heard of one of these, excellent capture.

  • Thanks so much, Andrea. I had never seen one before either. It’s actually in the falcon family.

    – AuntDot

  • Monnie Ryan
    Monnie Ryanover 2 years ago

    What a cool, colorful bird! New to me as well!

  • Thanks, Monnie. I was so happy to get a clear shot of this bird.

    – AuntDot

  • WeeZie
    WeeZieover 2 years ago

    Great capture, Dot. Great composition and clarity. Beautiful bird.

  • Many thanks, Carolyn. I think a lot of us haven’t ever seen this bird before.

    – AuntDot

  • NewfieKeith
    NewfieKeithover 2 years ago

    Great reading..Great capture Dot!!!

  • Thanks once again, Keith. Glad you enjoyed it.

    – AuntDot

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 2 years ago

  • Many thanks, Ray.

    – AuntDot

  • artisandelimage
    artisandelimageover 2 years ago

    All Around Florida Group

  • Rosalie Scanlon
    Rosalie Scanlonover 2 years ago

    Beautiful capture and bird, nice detail.

  • I appreciate that, Rosie. Thanks!

    – AuntDot

  • virginian
    virginianover 2 years ago

    Love its colors. Great capture.

  • Thanks once again, Judy!

    – AuntDot

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