Red-throated Caracara Ibycter americanus

  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Falconidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Courtney Davis and Sean McCann
  • © Chris Jiménez

Red-throated Caracara is a noisy, widespread forest caracara. It is black overall, with a white belly and unfeathered red throat. Pairs and family groups are very vocal, and their raucous calls often can be heard from great distances. This species is found from extreme southern Mexico south through northern South America to eastern Bolivia and southern Brazil. It has inexplicably and dramatically declined across most of its range in Mexico and Central America, but is still common in South America. It occurs in rainforest in lowlands and lower mountain areas, in deciduous forest, and in cerrado in Brazil. It feeds heavily on wasp brood, as well as on other arthropods and fruit. Mysteriously, wasps do not attack birds feeding at vespiaries. Most feeding occurs on the ground, although generally at least one or two birds in a feeding group remain in the canopy, presumably to watch for danger. Red-throated Caracara is a highly-territorial cooperative breeder and groups often stay together for many years.

Adult calls

© Curtis Marantz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Davis, C. and S. McCann (2014). Red-throated Caracara (Ibycter americanus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.