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Carunculated Caracara
Phalcoboenus carunculatus

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Stable.

Other Names: 

Phalcoboenus carunculatus
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Distribution: Neotropical.  Andes of southwestern COLOMBIA (Nariño, Cauca Valley) and ECUADOR (central Loja). more....

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: This genus was formerly merged with Polyborus (now Caracara) (Vuilleumier 1970) or Ibycter, but the data of Griffiths (1994, 1999) and Griffiths et al. (2004) indicated that they are not sister genera and that Phalcoboenus is more closely related to Milvago and Ibycter. This species and P. megalopterus were formerly considered to be races of P. albogularis (Hellmayr and Conover 1949, Stresemann and Amadon 1979), but they more likely form a superspecies with that form and possibly P. australis. Shown by Poulsen (1993) not to hybridize with P. megalopterus where their ranges overlap in southern Ecuador.

Movements: Irruptive or local migrant (Bildstein 2006).

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in montane areas in open grasslands, bushy pastures, and paramó areas, often around cattle. Soars much of the time, either singly or in pairs.

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on carrion and a wide variety of live prey, including rabbits, rats, lizards, frogs, toads, small birds, earthworms, and insects (de Vries et al. 1983). It often forages by walking or running about on the ground. Hilty and Brown (1986) aptly characterized this species as filling the ecological role of crows and ravens of temperate regions.

Breeding: The nest is a stick structure placed on rock ledges, and the clutch size is usually 2 eggs (de Vries et al. 1983). Eggs are laid in September-October and the young fledge by January (de Vries op cit.).

Conservation: Categorized as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International (2009).

Important References: 
Bierregaard, R.O. 1994. Carunculated Caracara. P. 249 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New
  World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
de Vries, T., J. Black, C. Solis, and C. Hernandez. 1983. [Natural history
  of the Carunculated Caracara Phalcoboenus carunculatus in the paramos of
  Antisana and Cotopaxi, Ecuador]. Ediciones Universidad Catolica, Quito,
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Fjeldså, J., and N. Krabbe. 1990. Birds of the high Andes. Zoological
  Museum, University of Copenhagen and Apollo Books, Svendborg, Denmark.
Larrea, F. 1987. [Reproductive biology and distribution of the
  Carunculated Caracara Phalcoboenus carunculatus in the paramo of El Angel,
  Ecuador.] Thesis, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. (In Spanish)
Poulson, B.O. 1993. A contact zone between Mountain and Carunculated
  Caracaras in Ecuador. Wilson Bulletin 105:688-691.

Sites of Interest:

Last modified: 11/1/2009

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Carunculated Caracara Phalcoboenus carunculatus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 1 Jun. 2020

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