The uncrowned kings of the swamps

The caracaras are a genus of birds of prey closely related to falcons, very commonly found in Central and most of South America. Most are found in open areas, such as pastures, foothills, and forest edges.

They are opportunistic omnivores, primarily feeding on carrion. Hence, they are key scavengers of roadkill. Many species also perch on cattle or tapirs to feed on ticks or pick the flesh of their open wounds. They also often feed on insects, rodents, and lizards.

Caracaras build stick nests high up in trees or on rock ledges, depending on the species. Clutch size can vary from 2-5 eggs. Mothers and fathers usually care for nest-building, incubation, feeding, and protecting the young.