Birds of the Bible – Falcon – Caracara

Northern Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) by Dan at Viera Wetland

Northern Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) by Dan at Viera Wetlands

The first Birds of the Bible – Falcons blog introduced the North American members of the Falcon – Falconidae Family. Then the next article, Birds of the Bible – Falcons II, introduced more of the 65 Falcon family members, mainly just the falcons, and provided links to videos of them.

The Caracaras are a part of the Falcon – Falconidae family and these would also be included in the references given in the Bible. The Falcons and their kind are on the “do not eat” list in Leviticus and Deuteronomy and again mentioned in Job.

And these you shall detest among the birds; they shall not be eaten; they are detestable: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the falcon of any kind, (Leviticus 11:13-14 ESV)

the kite, the falcon of any kind; (Deuteronomy 14:13 ESV)

That path no bird knows, Nor has the falcon’s eye seen it. (Job 28:7 NKJV)

Chimango Caracara by Daves Birding Pix

Chimango Caracara by Daves Birding Pix

Caracaras, there are 10 of them, are also included  in the birds of prey category. We saw our first Northern Crested Caracara along the interstate in Texas, not far from the well-known King Ranch. The Northern Crested Caracara is 23 inches long and has a 50 inch wingspan. The wings are broad and it has a long tail. They have long necks and long legs. They spend much of their time perched or walking on the ground, but can run swiftly. They hang out with vultures at carcasses and many times steal their food.

Male and females are similar. We have these here in central Florida. They are seen on the ground or perching on fence posts and tops of trees. Often seen walking along roadsides. Scratches like chicken for insects. The AOU split this species in July, 2000 from the South American species, Caracara plancus.

The Caracaras are:

Black Caracara (Daptrius ater) – S. America
Red-throated Caracara (Ibycter americanus) – C. & S. America
Carunculated Caracara (Phalcoboenus carunculatus) – Ecuador & Colombia
Mountain Caracara (Phalcoboenus megalopterus) ©WikiC – S. America
White-throated Caracara (Phalcoboenus albogularis) – S. America
Striated Caracara (Phalcoboenus australis) – S. America
Northern Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) by Dan – N. America
Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus) – S. America
Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima) – C. & S. America
Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango) – S. America

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As you can see above, they are only in the Western Hemisphere

Here is a video by Keith Blomerley of a Yellow-headed Caracara

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Some information from Thayer Birding Software

Falcon Page

Caracara – Wikipedia

Gospel Message

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