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Striated Caracara

From Opus

Phalcoboenus australis
Adult. Photo by Vernon LundyFalkland Islands Nov 2006.
Photo by Vernon Lundy
Falkland Islands Nov 2006.


[edit] Identification

Juvenile. Photo by Joseph MorlanCarcass Island,Falkland Islands 2 March 2018.
Photo by Joseph Morlan
Carcass Island,Falkland Islands 2 March 2018.

1st year (juvenile)

  • Dark brownish-black, nape with iridescent brown flecks
  • Tail with gold sheen
  • Paler primaries with bluish trim
  • Pale grey legs, feet and cere
  • Bill mostly dark

2nd year

  • Primaries more rufous
  • Pale culmen

3rd year

  • Buff-brown streaking extends to breast
  • Legs, feet and cere yellow-orange
  • Bill paler, blue-gray

4th year

  • Streaks grayish, less brown
  • Thigh feathers rufous
  • Tail white tipped

5th year

  • Streaking light gray
  • Tail tip with white bars
  • Legs, feet and cere bright yellow-orange
  • Bill pale blue-gray

Streaking becomes whiter as age progresses.[1]

[edit] Distribution

Falkland Islands and Tierra del Fuego. In decline in both areas and in the Falklands restricted to West Falkland and islands off the west coast, in the south of Falkland Sound and Sea Lion Island and Beauchene Islands south of East Falkland. In Tierra del Fuego found on the southern coast and on islands in the south of the Beagle Channel. Resident.

[edit] Taxonomy

Second year. Photo by Joseph MorlanSaunders Island,Falkland Islands 2 March 2018
Second year.
Photo by Joseph Morlan
Saunders Island,Falkland Islands 2 March 2018

This is a monotypic species [2][4]

[edit] Habitat

Found on shorelines and often scavenges in seabird colonies.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds primarily on carrion, adult and young sea birds, particularly penguins; but may also kill newborn lambs or disabled sheep. Their diet includes invertebrates which they can dig out with their strong claws.

[edit] Breeding

They make a nest from sticks and grass and when possible line it with wool. The clutch contains up to 4 eggs.

[edit] Gallery

Click on photo for larger image

[edit] References

  1. Avibirds
  2. Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2018). Striated Caracara (Phalcoboenus australis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 May 2018).
  3. BirdLife International. 2016. Phalcoboenus australis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22696247A93551504. Downloaded on 16 May 2018.
  4. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  5. Jaramillo, A. 2003. Birds of Chile. Princeton & Oxford: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691117409
  6. Wikipedia
  7. BF Member observations

[edit] External Links


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