Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crested Caracara

One day I looked out my window to see a flock of crows dive-bombing a large brown and white bird.  I grabbed my camera and was able to shoot a few shots through the sliding glass doors as the bird settled into a tree across the pond in hopes of losing his attackers.
Flying in.

Still being dive-bombed.


Another round.
It was a Crested Caracara - seemed to be a young one as it appeared smaller than others I've seen.  Even though these birds consort with vultures and eat carrion, the crows were treating him like an enemy raptor, like the "Mexican Eagle" as he is also called.  After a few photos, I decided to ease out onto the deck.  He moved to another tree, but didn't seem to care much that I was there.




I was fascinated with him and continued to snap photos while he watched the sky for crows.




 He even relaxed enough to preen himself a bit.





Then off he went.

125 comments:

Arija said...

Fabulous! Isn't it great to be aware of what goes on around us and grab the camera and shoot away. Love the clear shots and the odd beak of the bird. He looks like a cross between an eagle and a chicken.

Great that you could also stalk him to get better close-ups. Most impressive.

Rita said...

Never have seen one of those. He's probably competition for the crows for road kill and such...but, hey!...a guy's got to eat, right?

Nice of him to pose for you. I think he's rather a handsome fellow with quite a distinctive beak. You must either know a lot of birds by name or have a bird book. I'd be at a loss. ;)

Kathy said...

What a beak! I can see how he's made to be flesh-eater.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Apparently he preferred being photographed to being dive bombed!! GREAT photos! I have never seen one of those and I sure enjoyed learning another bird! Thank you. blessings ~ tanna

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Fantastic captures, T. What a gorgeous and unusual bird. :)

Catherine said...

What a strange looking bird! I've never seen one like this before!!
xo Catherine

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Wow, those are cool pictures! I don't think I've ever seen that bird before. Crazy the others were dive bombing him!

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

He's a pretty neat looking bird!

Deb said...

you have the coolest birds come to your Ranch....so happy we get a chance to see them...

Joe said...

WOW! Great catch. Never seen one before.

Sharon said...

He's cool. Never saw or heard of one of those before!

Darcie (My Modern Country) said...

Great pictures!! I have never seen one of these guys before-what a beak!!!

latebloomerbuds said...

You lucky duck seeing so many unusual birds. His name is even unusual. Poor guy getting picked on by the crows. Aw, Margie

Jill said...

He is beautiful! Another bird I have never seen. Thank you for bringing him to me.

Madge @ The View From Right Here said...

Wow... I don't think we have those up here in the NW (and I'm a bird watcher). Good shot of the crow doing the harassment bit.. I love watching their antics... always a good show!

Lynne said...

Amazing photos . . . I like the tinge of pink around the head/eyes . . . and the last photo, almost in flight is great.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Kind of an intimidating guy. You got a great profile shot and really showed how large his beak was!

DeanO said...

What a beautiful bird and interesting colored beak. Magnificent I thought!

Chatty Crone said...

I don't think I have seen that kind of bird before - it was awesome - looked so strong and so tough. He was really impressive. And right out the back door of your house. Whew. Sandie

Roan said...

Another new bird for me. I've never heard of or seen this bird. You managed some great shots!

Woody said...

I had never heard of this bird before, he's a handsome dude with an interesting colored beak. He also has a pretty nice racing stripe across his head.

Jan n Jer said...

Great capture. I have never seen this kind of bird! Thanks for sharing!

thesedaysofmine.com said...

These are amazing, Theresa. I'm in awe of all the birds you have in your area - and even more so, that you are able to photograph and identify them. Thanks for teaching me about yet another bird!

Sandra said...

he is beautiful and all new to me. the photo just above the words he watched the sky, that side view he very much looks like our Osprey. I love the pink of his bill. bad crows attacking him. our crows are still doing strange things that we have not seen before, they are flying hundreds and hundreds of them, they go west taking maybe 15 minutes to disappear, this morning the were flying East, hundreds of them, and they are totally quiet, which is unusual.

Judy said...

Awesome!!! I've not seen one of these guys before so I had to look in my bird book, my first thought was that he was in the raptor family because of his beak.

Kerri said...

That is One Gorgeous Bird!
Great captures!

Rose said...

These are great pics of a bird I will probably never see in my lifetime. I don't even remember hearing of him...so you have shown me something totally new.

Mom of M&Ms said...

I have a few shot sof some adults.. and that last shot rocks!!!!

Texan said...

I haven't ever seen that bird. What a beak he has! Tipped like it is what looks like pale blue.

parker said...

Seen alot of these down in the Rio Grande Valley. Seems they are expanding their territory. Good capture!

Tricia @ Bluff Area Daily said...

The poor thing... I don't like crows... they're a pain! =)

Karen said...

What an interesting bird with an awesome beak!

Furry Bottoms said...

That poor bird!!! I wonder why those crows were picking on him!

MarieElizabeth said...

I don't think I've ever seen dive bombing birds, on a nother bird. How interesting. Great photos.

ellen abbott said...

Very cool bird. You take the greatest pics.

Farm Girl said...

I always love when you get shots of those birds. They look almost prehistoric. I would be fascinated too. So glad you got those pictures I hope he comes back.

Sylvia K said...

Terrific captures and a great looking bird that I'm not sure I've seen before! You are so good at catching shots like these! Impressive indeed! Hope your week is going well!

Sylvia

polkadotpeticoat said...

I also have never seen one of these......your amazing!
remember Wild Kingdom the t.v. show.

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

What an interesting bird! Great shots!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

What a neat bird! I may have just found my new favorite bird from Texas. You will be the envy of WBW. Well done T.

bailey-road.com said...

Wow - you got some really good shots!
Look at that beak! He's really a beauty!

Pam said...

Fantastic shots, T.. it was like watching a video of their antics. He's a beautiful bird I haven't seen before.
Hugs,
Pam

Martha Z said...

I do the same, take what images I can from afar and keep moving in until I'm close enough for a good shot or the animal leave.
This one is certainly a new one to me, I don't think it comes up into California.

wayside wanderer said...

GREAT shots! What fun to see something so unusual.

CameraCruise said...

Wow, fantastic photos!

Joop Zand said...

WOW....thats a fantastic serie Theresa...... you are lucky.

Compliments and thanks for sharing this with us.

I wish you a very nice and happy x-mas time and all the best for 2012.

hugs from Holland, Joop

Julie G. said...

Lucky you! Ever since I started birding, I have yearned to see one of these interesting birds. Awesome beak! Your photographs are fantastic!

heyBJK said...

What a cool looking bird! I've never seen one except in photos. You got some great shots!

Liz said...

What a wonderful looking bird and brilliant shots!!
Great close ups... he has lovely plummage and that pink on his beak is rather nice.
Thanks for sharing... you have an abundance of birds of prey in the US it seems.

Saun said...

Wow, I've never seen one of them before nice capture.

Dina said...

So jealous of that caracara. I still haven't seen one here. And you have it in your yard!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

WOnderful shots. This bird certainly wanted his picture taken.

grammie g said...

Hi Teresa...What a catch...he is amazing to see!!
Thanks to the Crows you got this chance,but poor thing he probably only wanted to eat his lunch!! LOL
Grace

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Wow Theresa, what a huge treat! These images are absolutely stunning and I am so glad that you stepped outside and got these really clear images! I have never seen one, other than in bird guide books, in fact, I was not even certain they were in the USA~

Evelyn S. said...

Fascinating looking bird! When I first saw the shape of his wings, I thought it must be a member of the vulture family. Great shots, as always!

Dawn said...

GREAT action shots. He seems to be pretty confident with himself:)

Springman said...

What an encounter T-Wis! I hope your readers are clicking to enlarge these brilliant catches. Fast times at the Run*A*Round ranch it appears.
Happy holidays to you!

Gary said...

Impressive bird!! But's what amazing is how aggresive those crows are. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

joo said...

Great set of photos!

Bob Bushell said...

It's a beautiful bird, and you have got them, you're lucky.

Michaele said...

He was awesome looking! Kind of vulture/eagle cross. Thanks for the great shots. I would have never known. p.s. birds picking on birds makes me mad. I may have grabbed a rock instead of a camera.

Κωστής Τζαγκαράκης said...

A great find.
I have never seen something like that before.
We dont have them here.
Costas

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

Wow, what an awesome looking bird right there in your yard. His lower body almost looks like a chicken. He definitely has that dinosaur look so I can imagine what he looked like millions of years ago....RAWR!

Robin said...

T, Wow, great shots! That's another one I haven't seen!
Glad you were able to get so close ups! It's a very pretty bird

(GBS) NewsFromTheHill said...

Amazing! I wonder if they come to your area very often. Perfect shots to remember him by in case he got chased away for good!

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Texwisgirl, I have never seen one before! So thanks a bunch for showing the great bird to us. I think it is beautiful. Excellent photography! Have a super great day!

mick said...

Great photos and a really interesting bird to come and visit your place.

Susan said...

Did you have to look him up, or did you just know what he was? He's a beautiful bird, probably mooched some food from the crows, and got them upset with him. Great shots!!!

Paula said...

THAT. IS. AMAZING!!
Are they a member of the vulture family? They have similar head features of the turkey vultures we have around here... wonderful shots, dearie!

Zondra Art said...

Amazing photos and beautiful bird!:)
Greetings!

Andrew said...

Wonderful images to see.. you really do have so much wildlife to see... and for once those images could have been taken over here with your leafless trees...

Back to rain and slightly higher temps over here.. supposed to bee warm for the time of year over Xmas

Paula said...

You're quite the bird watcher.

Kim said...

I've never seen one of those! Such a pretty beak.

Montanagirl said...

I've never seen one of these before - You took some great photos of him! That's what I call a really fun photo opportunity.

laurak@forestwalkart said...

what a sight!! what a gorgeous bird!! i've never seen one. GREAT shots!!!! LOVE them!!!!!!

the other day i saw the crows chase a hawk right out of the yard...across the street...into the field...and they kept on him until i could barely see them anymore!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Theresa, Love seeing the Mexican Eagle (as I know them by)... We don't have them here --but I've seen one in a display once... Hope the crows left him alone.

The crows here dive bomb (in a big group) the hawks around here... They seem to be trying to protect the smaller birds!!!!! ha

Hugs,
Betsy

Hilke Breder said...

Terrific photos, Theresa! I saw this bird on my two visits to Texas, but never close up, and I wasn't shooting photos then. I wished I had that chance now. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

i've never seen a bird like this before.
thanks for sharing.

great catch!!

Amish storys1 said...

Merry Christmas to you and your readers, I'm just stopping by new blogs that i think are interesting. And then ill put some of those on my favorites list to visit again. Happy holidays folks and wishing everyone a healthy new years as well. Richard from a Amish community in Pennsylvania.

Sandy said...

Your home seems to be a wonderland for birds! Aren't you the lucky one. Love all the great shots.(o:

NewMexiKen said...

What a great yard you have, Theresa! Very nice shots of the caracara!

Millie said...

You truly are a bird whisperer. I'm sure you were not scary at all compared to the crows attacking him.

Sallie said...

Great shots of that bird, which we first saw in TX, but also have here in Florida. I think it's the Mexican national bird. It's funny the way smaller birds will attack the big ones. Probly sort of like when we get dive-bombed by mosquitoes.

Angela Häring-Christen said...

That's a great experience. For me that would be.
I like to observe the nature.

sharon said...

very interesting...I've never seen one. pesky crow!

Candy C. said...

Cool looking bird! I have never even heard of them much less seen one! Thanks for the great pictures! :)

eileeninmd said...

They are cool looking birds great post and photos.

Kerry said...

I've never heard of this bird! Nice shots of really interesting guy.

bj said...

Awesome...AWESOME photos.
I've never seen a bird like that before in my whole life.

O, and my post publishing at 6 has a couple of your photos...linked back to you. you had given permission awhile back for me to use them...hope it is still ok. :)) Come over....
Love and Merry Christmas...
xo bj

Annette said...

What an interesting looking bird. I've never seen (or heard of) one of them before.

Giga said...

Zrobiłaś cudowną sesję zdjęciową. Pozdrawiam

A Quiet Corner said...

Great photos...you have the patience of a saint!...:)JP

SouthCoast Guy said...

Great action shots!

lisa said...

These are wonderful shots!
Sending you wishes for a beautiful Holiday!

SweetMarie said...

I love bird watching on your blog. :) I've never seen one of these birds before. He's got an interesting look about him. Great pics!

Kjell T. Evensen said...

Nice capture. Sometimes Mother Nature can seem cruel.

Carole Meisenhelter said...

so wonderful to share photos like we do; I've never heard of this bird before. Interesting photographs of those moments he stayed near to you.

barbara l. hale said...

I often see something new on your blog and that bird is definitely new to me! Great series of photos. Glad he stuck around.

Mamabug said...

What a beauty he is Theresa! Glad you were able to get photos of him. Merry Christmas!

DaCraftyLady said...

those are amazing shots..WOW....You took some great close ups...never saw one of those before.Looks like the little fellow liked the camera...

Randy said...

Interesting looking character.

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

I've never seen this bird before. Very interesting and great shooting!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I'm quite glad that didn't end in catastrophe!

NicoleB said...

What a fabulous bird! Lucky you to get these neat shots! Would love to see that one one day :)
Mexican Eagle, how cool :D!

Lisa RedWillow said...

Fantastic Series.!!

Merry Christmas. Im sure I will be back around .

Hilary said...

Wow.. what a wonderful bird. I've never heard of them. And you got an incredible take-off shot.

SquirrelQueen said...

He is a very handsome fellow. I'm glad he escaped the crows and took a time out so you could get these great shots.

spindrift,me said...

Have you figured out whom to root for at times like this? I am always feeling bad for and cheering on everyone!

Rohrerbot said...

Love the Caracara....you are so lucky to have spotted this bird!!! What a fantastic catch! Nice bird shots!

Stewart M said...

Hi there - thats some bird to find in your 'back yard' - what a splendid set of pictures.

Stewart M - Australia

Nature Rambles said...

Never seen anything like that! Strange looking bird! I'm glad you got so many shots. Love the beak!

holdingmoments said...

What a handsome looking bird; and an amazing bill.

NatureFootstep said...

great shots. I saw this bird in Costa Rica, but did not come that close. great shots! :)

Ruta said...

I've never seen one before...quite unusual...and you got some great clear shots!

pattisjarrett said...

What a great photo op, glad you were able to capture it, that's a novel without words--chase scenes, and all! Interesting bird, love the preened look, all fluffed out. You did a great job!

Rambling Woods said...

The crows looked bigger than he is..interesting bird...

Adam Tilt said...

What a great bird. Nicely captured.

Janie said...

NEW bird for me to see as well, and it lands in your tree. How lucky you are to see this one. I would be planted outside all day to see what you see. I love that you spoil your pets.

Allison said...

Movie time! :)

Pat Tillett said...

I've never seen or even heard of this bird. He sure is a good looking bird! GREAT shots!

Country Mouse Studio said...

What a beautiful bird, it's always so awesome to get good shots like that

Snapper II said...

Great capture.

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Fascinating pics of the magnificent bird.

Larry said...

Awesome shots of the Crested Caracara Theresa! He obviously is not bothered by your presence, shown by the fact that he is preening in one of the photos.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Breath-taking pictures of the caracara and crows.

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