Red-throated Caracara Ibycter americanus

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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


Thiollay (1991) described four types of vocalizations of Red-throated Caracara:

1) Loud, raucous calls that have a rallying and territorial function. This is the most frequently heard vocalization, often used when a group of caracaras is traveling. This is the vocalization that other authors have described as "loud, racucous calls of cao ca cao, ca ca cao, kee yow-w-w, with other variations" (Wetmore 1965); "a hoarse, trumpeting khaaow! or ghaahee'ow!, sometimes varied to ca-ca'o, ca-ca-ca-CA'O!. At a distance suggests a macaw" (Stiles and Skutch 1989); and "loud, complaining screeches, screams, and caterwauls, often in chorus, some notes monosyllabic, kyeeer, others multisyllabic: Ki-ki-KAAAWWW (the source of a vernacular name, tatatáo)" (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010). Territorial vocalizations are described as loud, raucous screams that can be heard for more than 300 m.

For a representative audio recording with sonogram, see audio

2) alarm calls, which are "rapid, high-pitched, almost cackling" (Thiollay 1991)

3) calls of foraging birds, which are "short, faint, creaking contact calls" (Thiollay 1991)

4) begging calls, which are "soft, plaintive, whining" (Thiollay 1991)

Additional audio recordings of vocalizations of Red-throated Caracara can be heard at Macaulay Library, at xeno-canto, and at Internet Bird Collection.

Nonvocal Sounds

Not a significant part of its behavior.

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.