Monday, July 30, 2012

Yellow-headed Caracara

Last time I went to my local birding patch Laguna Villa Royal (Sabana Grande), a couple of weeks ago, I found a Striped Owl. Yesterday, this was topped by this immature Yellow-headed Caracara. 

It appears to be only the second record, and the first documented record, for Honduras. An undocumented sight record from northern Honduras in November 2005 was published in North American Birds (fide Oliver Komar).

image provided by eBird ( and created 30 July 2012

Yellow-headed Caracara is common in disturbed habitats (even cities) in South America and southern Central America. The first Costa Rican record dates back to 1973 (Garrigues & Dean 2007); now the species is common in the Central Valley and Pacific lowlands. eBird shows recent records in southern Nicaragua, and Yellow-headed Caracara may well be one of several open habitat species (like Pearl Kite and Double-striped Thick-knee) expanding their range in Central America, as a result of continuing deforestation and the creation of cattle pastures. 

Cited literature:
Garrigues, Richard & Robert Dean. 2007. The Birds of Costa Rica. Zona Tropical, Ithaca, New York.

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