(Caracara cargahuesos) Caracara plancus
The Crested Caracaras are predator birds that have lived in the Guanacaste region for centuries. The national bird of Mexico, “the Mexican eagle”, they played a central role in Aztec culture. More generally, their name comes from the repetitive sound they emit.
These birds which are currently housed at Monkey Park are here as a result of a negative ecological domino effect led by automotive collisions. Being opportunistic scavengers, they are often seen foraging near roads where many large insects, lizards, snakes, birds, and mammals are run over by cars. For a ground feeding specie such as the Crested Caracara, these irresistible roadside meals create a dangerous situation- as wild animals many of them have not learned to judge the speed of a car and are often seriously injured or killed as a result.