The crested caracara is a threatened species found year-round in central-southern Florida. These beautiful raptors were once common in the prairies but their numbers have gone down as their preferred habitat has been developed. They will often nest in cabbage palms about 12 m up. the nest is often made of loosely woven vine with a depression in the middle. Clutch size is usually two eggs although three eggs do occur. Both ma and pa participate in incubation which lasts about 28 days. Thee little ones fledge at about 8 weeks. I often see adults along the road searching for prey or eating carrion, but over the last year I have seen them with more frequency foraging along the northern boundary of Panther Island! If you look at their legs, they are longer than those of other raptors and their feet are different as well! They have talons but their feet are flatter. This allows them to more easily run and walk. They are easily identified by the naked face, crest on the head, long neck, and heavy bill. When upset or feeling threatened they will atually raise the crest!
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