The Striated Caracara, Phalcobaenus australis, was one of the more interesting birds we came across. It is classified as “Near threatened” and has been heavily persecuted in the past (Shirihai). They are birds of prey and can be highly inquisitive. We found them reasonably approachable.
Here are a few shots of juveniles on Saunders Island.
This bird is feeding on a small crab.
This bird image below is interesting because it shows the Caracara is clearly ringed (banded to the Americans amongst you) and also carries a tracker pack on its back.
This reflects the concern regarding its status. Indeed I noticed one small group of 3 together all of which were ringed and I guess they were a small family unit that had been ringed on the nest. The female lays 3-4 eggs so this is plausible.
I first saw Striated Caracara in Hampshire. I jest not. They are kept at the Hawk Conservancy near Andover (or were 15 years ago) and I spent many a happy day there and once treated myself to a day out flying Harris Hawks with the team. I imagine the caracaras were part of a breeding programme although I don’t know for sure. Little did I imagine that many years later I would have the joy of seeing them in their natural habitat in the Falklands.