Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands
Crested CaracaraPolyborus plancus plancus
Local Name: Carancho
Breeding Range: Falklands & South America
Falklands Population: ~500 breeding pairs
World Population: unknown
The Crested Caracara is found throughout most of the Falklands, but is nowhere abundant. Favoured nest sites are rocky outcrops, especially on mountain crags. Large nests are constructed from twigs and grass lined with wool, and 2 to 3 eggs are laid during September or October. The Crested Caracara is primarily a carrion-feeder, seeking out the carcasses of birds, introduced mammals and particularly livestock, but live rodents and invertebrates are also known to be taken. The introduction of livestock to the Falklands by man has probably led to an increase in the local population. Natural mortality amongst the thousands of sheep which cover the Falklands provides an abundant supply of food for carrion feeders, especially during the winter months when other sources of food are scarce. Sexes are similar.