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


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


Some information from Thayer Birding Software

Falcon Page

Caracara – Wikipedia

Gospel Message


Interesting Things – Anna’s Hummingbird

New Avian Speed Champion Discovered

Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number. (Job 9:10)

“A peregrine falcon diving toward its prey reaches a relative speed of 200 body- lengths per second. This is close to the 207 body-lengths that the space shuttle travels as it enters our atmosphere. Thus, the peregrine falcon was thought to easily be the fastest dare-devil bird on Earth.

Anna's Hummingbird by Dave's BirdingPix

Anna's Hummingbird by Dave's BirdingPix

Scientists have now discovered that a little pink male hummingbird called Anna’s Hummingbird is the real Top Gun among the birds. As part of its mating ritual, a male hummingbird will try to impress a female with his speed and acrobatics. First, the male will fly up to about 90 feet above the ground. Then, he begins a power dive. As he nears the female, he pulls up, ascending again. During that near-miss pull-up he experiences more than nine times the force of gravity. His relative speed during descent is 385 body-lengths per second. That’s almost twice the peregrine falcon’s relative speed, it’s faster than the space shuttle entering the Earth’s atmosphere and is more than twice the relative speed of a jet fighter running with afterburners!

The wonders of God’s creation are still being discovered, and Creation Moments still loves to make them known to our listeners. But God’s greatest wonder is His love for us though His Son, Jesus Christ. We are thankful that this wonder is revealed to us in the Bible.

Prayer: Father, I give You thanks for the wonders You create, but I especially give You thanks for the wonder of salvation. Amen.

References: Science News, 7/4/09, p. 7, Susan Millius, “Hummingbird pulls Top Gun stunts.”

From Creation Moments ©March 24, 2010

Peregrine Falcon

Often cited as one of the world’s fastest birds, the Peregrine Falcon is a formidable predator by any standard.

Back to the Peterson Field Guide Video Series
“Peregrine Falcon” Video is from petersonfieldguides at YouTube

See Also:
Birds of the Bible – Falcons
Birds of the Bible – Falcons II
Falcon Family Photos
Falcon Videos

Birds of the Bible – Falcons II

Laughing Falcon in Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica by Ray

Laughing Falcon in Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica by Ray

I have noticed that many come to my blog looking for information and photos of Falcons. The Birds of the Bible – Falcons introduced the Falcons. This week we will give some more on the Falcons around the world. The Falcon is on the “unclean list” of birds and was not to be eaten. Deuteronomy 14:13 and Leviticus 11:14 provides their name in that list.

the red kite, the falcon, and the kite after their kinds; (Deu 14:13 NKJV)
the kite, and the falcon after its kind; (Lev 11:14 NKJV)

The other reference in Scripture is found in Job 28:7 which refers to it’s eye.

That path no bird knows, Nor has the falcon’s eye seen it.

The Lord has created the Falcon with another fantastic ability which helps it catch its prey. Notice as you watch these videos, no matter what else they are doing, their eye’s are constantly watching for prey. A quote from Steiner Birding about the Peregrine Falcon says, “Sight is developed to a marvelous degree:
They are equipped with full-color vision and with eyes specially adapted to permit rapid adjustment of focus while moving at speed, and from four to eight times the resolving power of the human eye. Hovering may be compared to looking into a field from a car moving at twenty miles an hour or from one which comes to a standstill every few yards. It would be possible for a human being to see an individual rabbit or large game bird at a range of 600-700-yards; a bird of prey, with about four times the resolving power of the human eye, should therefore be able to see it at a range of nearly two miles.”

Here is a list of the Falcon’s listed at Internet Bird Collection (IBC) (a total of 34) The ones with the * were mentioned in the first blog:

Laughing Falcon – Videos of a Laughing Falcon on a tree and a Laughing Falcon calling continuously
Barred Forest-Falcon
Plumbeous Forest-Falcon
Lined Forest-Falcon
Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon
Collared Forest-Falcon

Red-necked Falcon

Red-necked Falcon from Wikipedia

Buckley’s Forest-Falcon
Spot-winged Falconet  – Video
African Pygmy Falcon – Video
White-rumped Pygmy-Falcon P
Collared Falconet – Video
Black-thighed Falconet
White-fronted Falconet
Philippine Falconet – Video
Pied Falconet – Video
Red-necked Falcon
Red-footed Falcon – Video
Amur Falcon – Video
Eleonora’s Falcon – Video
Sooty Falcon
Aplomado Falcon – Video
Bat Falcon – Video
Orange-breasted Falcon
New Zealand Falcon
Brown Falcon – Video
Grey Falcon
Black Falcon
Lanner Falcon – Video
Laggar Falcon
Saker Falcon – Video
Prairie Falcon – Video
Taita Falcon – Video
Peregrine Falcon – Video

See also:

Falcon Pages
Falconidae – Caracaras, Falcons – Family
Peregrine Falcon – Peterson Field Guide


Salute to Our Veterans

Navy Emblem

U. S. Navy Emblem

Today is Veteran’s Day here in the United States and we would like to say “Thank You Very Much” for serving. Some have given their all and many of our living veterans are still carrying their pains and scars. Our thanks and prayers are with you as today you can celebrate that you have helped keep our country free. To those who are active now, our prayers are with you daily for your protection and wisdom as you serve our great country. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

U. S. Air Force Emblem

U. S. Air Force Emblem

Some may be wondering how I can do a Veteran’s Day tribute on my Birdwatching blog. Well, it’s easy.

1.   Many of the Units and Aircraft, Ships have a bird names, such as:

Marine Emblem

U. S. Marine Emblem

Eagles:  Screaming Eagles, Navy Eagles, Flying Eagles, Legal Eagles, Lone Eagle, War Eagle, Blackeagle, Raider Eagle, Strike Eagle, Eagle of the Sea, Echo Eagle

Falcons:  USS Falcon, F-16 Fighting Falcon Fanatics, White Falcons, Black Falcons, Blue Falcons, Red Falcons,

Hawks: Hawk Squadron, Sparrow Hawks, Bluehawks, Firehawks, Blackhawks, Seahawks, Nighthawks, Redhawks, Sabrehawks, Knighthawks, Warhawks, Phantomhawks, Tomahawks, Lady Tomahawks

Osprey: USS Osprey – MSCO28 and MHC51, USS American Osprey, USCGC Osprey

Coast Guard Emblem

U. S. Coast Guard Emblem

U. S. Army Emblem

U. S. Army Emblem

Bird: USS Frigate Bird, USS Surfbird, USS Blue Bird, USS Mockingbird, USS Blue Bird, USS Hummingbird, USS Kingbird, Air Force Thunderbirds, Screwbirds, USS Sunbird, Old Firebirds VA304

I am sure there are many other birds names that were used. If you know of others, please leave a comment with them. Thanks.

2.   Many of the Military Emblems have the Bald Eagle in them: Here is a link to the United States Military Emblems and their history.

3.   Dan, spent 30 years in the Navy, active and reserve, and retired as a Master Chief Gunnersmate. I spent about 2 years in the Navy reserve as a Radioman. Our fathers were both in the Military, as were many of our forefathers.

4.   Last of all, this is my blog and I can do what I want. Part of having the “PLUS” in the name, gives me the freedom to do as I see fit, as long as the Lord is honored.

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. (2Ti 2:3-5 KJV)

Am I A Soldier of the Cross

Am I a soldier of the cross,
A foll’wer of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His name?

Must I be carried to the skies
On flow’ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed thro’ bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight, if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord;
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy word.

Birds of the Bible – Falcons

American Kestrel by AestheticPhotos

American Kestrel by AestheticPhotos

Today we introduce another bird family that has been wonderfully created by God. The Falcon is in the Family “Falconidae” which are birds of prey. Worldwide there are over 60 species in the family. Falcons, Caracara, Forest-Falcons, Kestrels, Falconets, Pygmy-Falcons, and Hobbies make up the family. For an interesting list of the birds and videos of them, see Internet Bird Collection. These are the birds seen in North America according to Thayer’s Birding software:

  • Aplomado Falcon (15-16.5” with  40-48” wingspan) Mexico to Central and South America, TX

  • Gyrfalcon (20-25” with 50-64” wingspan – largest of the falcons) – Arctic tundra-winter seen in upper Midwest, Dakotas, Montana, Idaho and Washington – Flies close to the ground.

  • Peregrine Falcon (16-20” with  36-44” wingspan – large falcon)

  • Prairie Falcon (15.5-19.5” with 35-43” wingspan)

  • Merlin (12” with 25” wingspan)

  • Collared Forest-Falcon (21-25” with 30-37” wingspan) (Accidental-South Texas)

  • American Kestrel (10.5” with 23” wingspan – Smallest falcon)

  • Eurasian Kestrel (13.5”with 29” wingspan Hovers) – Mass, NJ, N Brunswick and Aleutian Islands of Alaska

    Prairie Falcon by Dan

    Prairie Falcon by Dan

  • Crested Caracara (23” with 50” wingspan) – TX and FL, Prairie region of central FL, open arid and semiarid scrublands, grassland w/ few trees, ranchland

  • Eurasian Hobby (11-13” with 28-33” wingspan) – Europe and Asia, Africa (winters) very rare in North America Captures prey in the air.

A good article about the Falconidae Family is at the Handbook of the Birds of the World website. The Wikipedia had these comments:
“Falcons and caracaras are carnivores, feeding on birds, small mammals, reptiles, insects and carrion.”,
“They have strongly hooked bills, sharply curved talons and excellent eyesight. The plumage is usually composed of browns, whites, chestnut, black and grey, often with barring of patterning. ”
“They differ from other Falconiformes (Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, etc.) in killing with their beaks instead of their feet. They have a “tooth” on the side of their beak for the purpose.”

Peregine Falcon by Jim Fenton

Peregrine Falcon by Jim Fenton

The Falcon is another bird on the “unclean” list.
“And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, the kite, and the falcon after its kind;” (Leviticus 11:13-14 NKJV)
“the red kite, the falcon, and the kite after their kinds;” (Deuteronomy 14:13 NKJV)
“You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. (Ezekiel 39:4 NKJV)

Check out the

Falcons page for Photos and Videos
Falconidae – Caracaras, Falcons – Family