© Meaghan Manning
Search carefully for this striking bird in the interior of Florida between Orlando and the Tamiami Trail. Crested Caracaras are often seen soaring with Black and Turkey Vultures, searching for carrion. However, they are generalists and will eat insects, vertebrates and eggs as well. When they aren't hungry, caracaras can be found perched conspicuously on fence posts or dead snags. Crested Caracaras have been recorded in the panhandle but these individuals probably originated from the western U.S population. The subspecies in Florida is known as Audubon's Crested Caracara; it is present year-round. There are only 250 pairs of this federally threatened subspecies nesting in Florida.
For more information on this imperiled species, visit our listed species page on Audubon's Crested Caracara
Recommended GFBWT sites:
- Fred C. Babcock / Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area
- Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area
- Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area: East Entrance
- Forever Florida
- Joe Overstreet Landing
- Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
- Myakka River State Park
- Platt Branch Wildlife and Environmental Area
- Prairie Bird Loops (long loop and short loop)
- Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera (Viera Wetlands)
- Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area
Recommended events to see this species
- Big O Birding Festival - March 9-13 2014
For more information, including a range map and sound recording, visit The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website.
Look for Crested Caracaras in open places like prairies, brushlands, grasslands, pastures, and fields; they nest in sabal palms.