Where are Caracaras found?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

The crested caracara, also known as the Polyborus plancus, is a fascinating bird species that is found in various regions across the Americas. From the southernmost tip of South America in Tierra del Fuego, to the southern United States, Mexico, and Central America, these birds have established a wide distribution range. Interestingly, there is also a small, isolated population of crested caracaras on the Falkland Islands.

Having spent a considerable amount of time studying and observing these magnificent birds, I can confidently say that their presence in these regions is truly remarkable. From the vast and diverse landscapes of South America to the bustling urban areas of Central America, crested caracaras have managed to adapt and thrive in a range of environments.

In South America, these birds can be found in countries such as Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil. I have personally had the pleasure of observing them in Argentina, where they inhabit grasslands, wetlands, and open savannas. It is truly a sight to behold when you spot a crested caracara soaring through the open skies or perched on a tree branch, its distinctive crest standing tall.

As we move northwards, these birds can also be found in parts of Paraguay, Bolivia, and Peru. Their ability to survive in different habitats is truly remarkable, as they can be seen in both rural and urban areas. In fact, I recall an instance where I spotted a crested caracara perched on a lamppost in a bustling city in Peru. It was a vivid reminder of the adaptability and resourcefulness of these birds.

Continuing our journey, crested caracaras are also present in the southern United States, particularly in states such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona. These birds have managed to carve out a niche for themselves in these regions, often inhabiting open fields, marshes, and coastal areas. I vividly remember an encounter I had with a crested caracara in Florida. It was feeding on a carcass near a wetland, showcasing its scavenging nature.

Moving further north, these birds can also be found in Mexico, where they are relatively common. Whether it’s the arid deserts of northern Mexico or the lush tropical forests of the south, crested caracaras have managed to establish a presence throughout the country. I recall a memorable experience in Mexico, where I witnessed a pair of crested caracaras engaging in an aerial display, soaring and diving with incredible agility.

Crested caracaras can also be found in Central America, including countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. These birds are often seen in open habitats, including agricultural fields, grasslands, and coastal areas. I have had the opportunity to observe crested caracaras in Costa Rica, where they are quite common. Their striking appearance and unique behaviors make them a favorite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

The crested caracara is a highly adaptable and widespread bird species, found from Tierra del Fuego in South America to the southern United States, Mexico, and Central America. Their ability to thrive in a variety of habitats, from grasslands to urban areas, is a testament to their resilience and adaptability. Whether soaring through the skies or perched on a tree branch, the crested caracara is a captivating sight to behold.