KEY SPECIES

Bird Watching (UK) - - Bird The World -

CHI­MANGO CARACARA Caracaras are a sub­fam­ily of the fal­con group, con­sist­ing of nine species found only in the Amer­i­cas. They are so-named af­ter the calls they ut­ter and the fam­ily dif­fers from true fal­cons due to their heav­ier build, pon­der­ous flight and their more ter­res­trial scav­eng­ing life­style. Chi­man­gos are among South Amer­ica’s most nu­mer­ous rap­tors, and they are some­times com­pared to the Old World Black Kites, as they, too, are also very closely associated with man. They range from Cape Horn in the south, through to Uruguay and south­ern Brazil, and fre­quent all kinds of open coun­try. In Chile, it has been dis­cov­ered that 87% of the diet con­sists of in­sects, of­ten gleaned by run­ning and jump­ing af­ter farm­ers’ ploughs. They also love as­so­ci­at­ing with gulls, scav­eng­ing at shell­fish pro­cess­ing fac­to­ries.

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