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Friday, February 11, 2011

Crested Caracaras

Crested Caracaras were documented being present in Calcasieu Parish on Fabacher Road. Since this road is only minutes from home it was a great opportunity to see this raptor. This phantom bird continued to elude me time after time after time. The search felt like an Easter Egg Hunt on steroids. The more I didn't see it, the more I wanted to see it. Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months. Three months later, while driving down the road a suspicious looking large dark bird was perched atop a utility pole. I stopped a couple of utility poles away so it wouldn't spook and eased my binoculars up. At last, the fabled Crested Caracara materialized! I exchanged the binoculars for a camera and click, the documentation was complete.

It was a surprise to see the Crested Caracara listed in the Falcon family of my Peterson's Field Guide. I didn't think of them as a flying machine like the Peregrine Falcon, American Kestrel or Merlin. These guys must be spectacular in the air when they need to be.

I once came upon a Crested Caracara on Fabacher Road feeding upon a dead cow close to the edge of the road with some Black Vultures.

Fabacher Road can be quite productive at times. In addition to Caracara, I've seen such raptors as a White-Tailed Hawk, Harlan's Hawk, Swainson's Hawk, Bald Eagle, Merlin, American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, Broad-Winged Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Sharp-Shinned Hawk, Great Horned Owl and of course the Red-Tailed Hawk. According to information found on the net, Ferruginous Hawks, Golden Eagles, and White-Tailed Kites have also been documented here. I'm not sure what is so attractive about this little country road but the raptors seem to like it.

Left-Click to Enlarge all photos.

How about this hairdo. Is it a toupee' or is it the real deal? :)

What's UPPPPPP ???

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