caracara


caracara
/kahr'euh kahr"euh, kar'euh kar"euh/, n.
any of certain long-legged birds of prey of the falcon family, of the southern U.S. and Central and South America that feed on carrion.
[1830-40; < Sp or Pg < Tupi; imit. of its cry]

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bird
also called  Carrion Hawk,  

      any of about 10 species of birds of prey of the New World subfamily Polyborinae (or Daptriinae) of the family Falconidae. Caracaras feed largely on carrion, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. They are gregarious and aggressive. In spite of their smaller size, they dominate vultures when feeding. Caracaras are recognized by their long legs and by the reddish naked skin of the cheeks and throat. They range in size from 40 to 60 cm (16 to 24 inches) long.

      The common, or crested, caracara (Polyborus plancus) occurs from Florida, Texas, Arizona, Cuba, and the Isle of Pines south to the Falkland Islands and Tierra del Fuego. The subspecies occurring in the United States is called Audubon's caracara (P. p. auduboni).

      Other species occurring in South America include the chimango, or beetle eater (Milvago chimango), and the black caracara (Daptrius ater). The smaller South American species eat insects.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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