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Crested Caracara

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  • sayers68
    As we were doing our Western Snowy Plover survey today, we got to see a Crested Caracara flying north along the sandspit in Montana de Oro State Park. It was
    Message 1 of 12 , Jun 1, 2005
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      As we were doing our Western Snowy Plover survey today, we got to see a Crested
      Caracara flying north along the sandspit in Montana de Oro State Park. It was flying
      low enough to make a positive ID.

      From what I know, they are sometimes seen as far up as Monterey and Marin. And I
      heard that they sometimes get blown up here in Mosoon years. We did hear from our
      office (Morro Bay State Parks) that this was the first sighting ever in the county. I know
      they are mostly carrion feeders and they sometimes will feed on lizards and other
      small live animals. But my question is do they feed on small birds? We are considering
      it a predator, but I am not sure if it would take a plover or not.

      Today was and interesting day...a new oystercatcher nest in the sand, two peregrine
      falcons, 200 western snowy plovers (not including 8 broods) and the caracara. Just
      another beautiful day at the sandspit.

      John Sayers
      Western Snowy Plover monitor
      Morro Bay State Parks
    • Bob Power
      Oh those crafty Caracara.... From Birds of North America Online: Generally viewed, erroneously, as primarily a carrion feeder (Knowlton 1909, Bailey 1925, Bent
      Message 2 of 12 , Jun 1, 2005
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        Oh those crafty Caracara....

        From Birds of North America Online:

        Generally viewed, erroneously, as primarily a carrion
        feeder (Knowlton 1909, Bailey 1925, Bent 1938),
        probably because most visible when feeding on carrion.
        Actually a diet generalist and opportunistic forager,
        taking a wide variety of live prey, as well as
        carrion, from a variety of habitats.

        Main foods taken

        Insects; small and occasionally large vertebrates,
        including fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and
        mammals; eggs; and carrion of all types.

        ... seeks live prey while making low sweeping flights
        over roads, pastures, and marshes.

        While perched, intently follows activities of parent
        songbirds tending nests; successful raids recorded on
        nests of Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) and
        Northern Mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos; Yosef and
        Yosef 1992). May occasionally hunt cooperatively;
        pairs of adults have been observed coordinating
        attacks on adult Cattle Egrets (Bulbulcus ibis;
        Whitacre et al. 1982), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus;
        Barbour 1923), prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.; Fisher
        1893), and lambs (Knowlton 1909, Bent 1938).

        Wish I was doin' what you're doin'.
        Best regards,
        Bob Power
        Oakland, CA

        --- sayers68 <sayers68@...> wrote:
        >... I know
        > they are mostly carrion feeders and they sometimes
        > will feed on lizards and other
        > small live animals. But my question is do they feed
        > on small birds? We are considering
        > it a predator, but I am not sure if it would take a
        > plover or not. ...
        >
        >
        > John Sayers
        > Western Snowy Plover monitor
        > Morro Bay State Parks
        >
        >


        "No birds sang the whole time we were up there. I didn't see a thing. I still dream about that trip though." Ted Parker, Northern Peru. 1978
        From: A Parrot Without A Name. Don Stap. Knopf, 1990

        Bob Power
        Oakland, CA
        Alameda County
      • Bob Power
        Oh those crafty Caracara.... From Birds of North America Online: Generally viewed, erroneously, as primarily a carrion feeder (Knowlton 1909, Bailey 1925, Bent
        Message 3 of 12 , Jun 1, 2005
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          Oh those crafty Caracara....

          From Birds of North America Online:

          Generally viewed, erroneously, as primarily a carrion
          feeder (Knowlton 1909, Bailey 1925, Bent 1938),
          probably because most visible when feeding on carrion.
          Actually a diet generalist and opportunistic forager,
          taking a wide variety of live prey, as well as
          carrion, from a variety of habitats.

          Main foods taken

          Insects; small and occasionally large vertebrates,
          including fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and
          mammals; eggs; and carrion of all types.

          ... seeks live prey while making low sweeping flights
          over roads, pastures, and marshes.

          While perched, intently follows activities of parent
          songbirds tending nests; successful raids recorded on
          nests of Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) and
          Northern Mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos; Yosef and
          Yosef 1992). May occasionally hunt cooperatively;
          pairs of adults have been observed coordinating
          attacks on adult Cattle Egrets (Bulbulcus ibis;
          Whitacre et al. 1982), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus;
          Barbour 1923), prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.; Fisher
          1893), and lambs (Knowlton 1909, Bent 1938).

          Wish I was doin' what you're doin'.
          Best regards,
          Bob Power
          Oakland, CA

          --- sayers68 <sayers68@...> wrote:
          >... I know
          > they are mostly carrion feeders and they sometimes
          > will feed on lizards and other
          > small live animals. But my question is do they feed
          > on small birds? We are considering
          > it a predator, but I am not sure if it would take a
          > plover or not. ...
          >
          >
          > John Sayers
          > Western Snowy Plover monitor
          > Morro Bay State Parks
          >
          >


          "No birds sang the whole time we were up there. I didn't see a thing. I still dream about that trip though." Ted Parker, Northern Peru. 1978
          From: A Parrot Without A Name. Don Stap. Knopf, 1990

          Bob Power
          Oakland, CA
          Alameda County
        • Oscar Johnson
          Hi all, I just received a second hand report of a Crested Caracara at McGrath State Beach in Ventura. It was seen this morning (5 January) in Area 1 of the
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 5, 2006
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            Hi all,

            I just received a second hand report of a Crested Caracara at McGrath State Beach in Ventura. It was seen this morning (5 January) in Area 1 of the state beach, from there it flew north towards the Santa Clara River Estuary, where it appeared to land. The observer was Daniel Gant, a ranger with the state parks. He is a begining birder, but he has some familiarity with the species, and he is confident that it was a Caracara. He also obtained photos, which I will try to get a hold of. He also said the bird was unbanded and appeared to wild.

            Good luck.

            Oscar Johnson
            Santa Barbara, CA


            ---------------------------------
            Yahoo! DSL Something to write home about. Just $16.99/mo. or less

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Daniel
            Greetings~ I m the state park ranger who was fortunate to view the Crested Caracara yesterday (1/5) at 10AM. It was perched on top of a pile of cleared brush
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 6, 2006
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              Greetings~
              I'm the state park ranger who was fortunate to view the Crested
              Caracara yesterday (1/5) at 10AM. It was perched on top of a pile of
              cleared brush adjacent to a trash can straight out from campsite 44 in
              campground loop 1 at McGrath State Beach. The bird then flew approx
              50 yards away and landed on the sand dunes. After hopping around in
              the sand briefly, it flew again, soaring briefly and giving a good
              view of what looked to be definite adult plumage before descending
              behind some willows lining the Santa Clara River. I had a great look
              at the bird for 5-10 minutes and did not see any bands, tags, or
              jesses. I checked the park again today (1/6), but did not see the
              bird. I've posted two photos in the Raptors folder.

              McGrath State Beach is located just north of the Santa Clara River
              (which separates the cities of Ventura and Oxnard) in Ventura County.
              If you're in the area and wish to look for the bird, please be aware
              that due to recent flood damage, the state PARK IS temporarily CLOSED
              TO ALL VEHICULAR TRAFFIC. Currently, the ONLY way to access the park
              for day use is from Spinnaker Drive off of Harbor Blvd; park at the
              end of Spinnaker once it starts to curve north and go parallel to the
              beach in a parking area known as Surfer's Knoll. Parking is free
              here; walk downcoast on the beach (1/4-1/2 mile) and cross the Santa
              Clara River outflow (the sand bar that caused the park to flood was
              breached during the storms over New Year's but may be forming again
              already). Continue downcoast another 1/4 mile then take one of many
              use paths over the dunes to access the area near the campground where
              the bird was viewed.

              Alternatively, (and ideally) make a reservation
              (www.reserveamerica.com) and spend a night or two camping in this gem
              of a state park. McGrath State Beach is a great camping park with
              great birding along the river and superb coastal dunes & an extensive
              beach. McGrath has no day use facilities other than a small parking
              lot (day use fees are $8/vehicle).

              If anyone views the bird (or any other notable birds/critters), please
              drop me an email at: DGant@...
              Also, if anyone has any questions about Ventura Sector State Parks,
              please feel free to email me.

              ~Daniel Gant
              Carpinteria, CA

              --- In CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com, Oscar Johnson <henicorhina@y...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi all,
              >
              > I just received a second hand report of a Crested Caracara at
              McGrath State Beach in Ventura. It was seen this morning (5 January)
              in Area 1 of the state beach, from there it flew north towards the
              Santa Clara River Estuary, where it appeared to land. The observer was
              Daniel Gant, a ranger with the state parks. He is a begining birder,
              but he has some familiarity with the species, and he is confident that
              it was a Caracara. He also obtained photos, which I will try to get a
              hold of. He also said the bird was unbanded and appeared to wild.
              >
              > Good luck.
              >
              > Oscar Johnson
              > Santa Barbara, CA
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > Yahoo! DSL Something to write home about. Just $16.99/mo. or less
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Vic Murayama
              Pictures of the Crested Caracara that was located in San Ysidro can now be viewed on my website at: http://vtm.smugmug.com/gallery/1875612/1/94369306. Vic
              Message 6 of 12 , Sep 10, 2006
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                Pictures of the Crested Caracara that was located in San Ysidro can
                now be viewed on my website at:
                http://vtm.smugmug.com/gallery/1875612/1/94369306.

                Vic Murayama
                Chula Vista, CA
                http://vtm.smugmug.com
              • doug@basiclink.com
                The Crested Caracara was at Dairy Mart Ponds as reported this morning. I refound the bird at the IHOP parking lot in the shopping mall parking down the road to
                Message 7 of 12 , Sep 13, 2006
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                  The Crested Caracara was at Dairy Mart Ponds as reported this morning. I
                  refound the bird at the IHOP parking lot in the shopping mall parking down
                  the road to the east at 7:40 a.m. The directions have been previously
                  posted.


                  Douglas Aguillard
                  San Diego, CA
                  doug@...
                  http://sdbirds.basiclink.com
                • Jim Roberts
                  This morning (10/12/06) at 11:15 AM, the CRESTED CARACARA was roosting on a snag in the Dairy Mart Ponds (Tijuana River Valley, adjacent to Dairy Mart Road).
                  Message 8 of 12 , Oct 12, 2006
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                    This morning (10/12/06) at 11:15 AM, the CRESTED CARACARA was roosting
                    on a snag in the Dairy Mart Ponds (Tijuana River Valley, adjacent to
                    Dairy Mart Road).

                    Jim Roberts
                    University City
                    San Diego
                  • Ruth Rudesill
                    I just got home from a visit to my relatives in Ft Dick (outside Crescent City, Del Norte Co.) The previously reported Crested Caracara was seen by myself and
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jul 8, 2008
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                      I just got home from a visit to my relatives in Ft Dick (outside Crescent City, Del Norte Co.) The previously reported Crested Caracara was seen by myself and my sister on July 5th in the am.

                      The bird was on Lower Lake Dr near Silva Rd. There is a wildlife pullout overlooking a pond and field ( with American bison and long horned Ethiopian cattle in it!) The caracara was in a snag overlooking the pond and flew over us to land on another snag for good scope views.

                      There were a lot of TVs there and maybe there was a dead cow or something nearby....

                      My Del Norte list has some really great birds on it so this is a welome addition (years ago saw a Gyrfalcon in almost the same spot!)

                      Ruth Rudesill
                      Kenwood CA

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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