Crested Caracara expands its range

The Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) is a species that I considered an exotic when I first saw it one hot summer in north Texas many years ago. Current eBird range maps show that it still appears there with some frequency, with at least one sighting even for the usually cold month of January.

crested_caracara_1_B

Crested Caracara, a very handsome bird, courtesy of Richard Garrigues

Here in Costa Rica the species continues to be rated uncommon east of Cartago, but there have now been quite a few sightings in the Turrialba area, the latest being a fly-by here, and first record for my house, observed by local bird-guide Herman Venegas and other visitors.  With the exception of a bird that I saw at CATIE, down in Turrialba, in December of 2009, I had not recorded the species in our area until November last year, 2015. Since then I have come to expect sightings at locations up to as high as 1700 m and I’ll now be sure to keep a constant look-out here at home too.

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