The Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango), an additional fisher among Caracarini falcons


  • Ivan Sazima Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Museu de Zoologia
  • Fabio Olmos Biota Consultores em Meio Ambiente


birds of prey, Falconidae, fishing behaviour, foraging tactics, Milvago chimango, Chile


The Caracarini falcons are among the most versatile birds of prey, and their variable diet includes fishes, which may be taken as carrion. However, fishing behaviour is described for two species. Here we describe the Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango) fishing at an estuary in Chile, Pacific coast of South America. The caracara flew and glided close to water surface, hovering on occasions. After such a hovering, the bird plunged and attempted to snatch a prey with its talons. If successful, the caracara carried the fish in its talons and landed on an adjacent beach where the prey was torn apart and eaten. The 'glide-hover' technique of the Chimango Caracara differs slightly from the fishing recorded for the closely related Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima), which plunges to the prey from a nearby perch ('perch to water'). The Black Caracara (Daptrius ater) picks up fish individually with its bill or talons while staying on a river bank ('ground foraging'). Thus, at least three fishing techniques are used by the Caracarini falcons, a group already known for its varied foraging techniques.




How to Cite

Sazima, I., & Olmos, F. (2009). The Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango), an additional fisher among Caracarini falcons. Biota Neotropica, 9(3). Retrieved from //



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