Table

 

Crested Caracara – Accepted

1. 13 Sep–16 Oct 1987

 

vic. Mono Lake MNO

1987-267

14

ph.

2. 28–30 Apr 1989

ATY

Smith R. bottoms DN

1989-096

14

 

3. 14 Dec 1993

 

vic. Westmorland IMP

1993-196

23

 

4. 09 Feb 1995

 

Chula Vista SD

1995-021

21

ph.

5. 20 Oct 2001

 

Long Beach LA

2002-061

29

 

6. 30 Apr 2002

ATY

Goleta SBA

2002-147

29

 

and 14–23 Jul 2002

 

Vandenberg AFB SBA

2002-192

29

video

and 08 Aug 2002

 

vic. Point Mugu VEN

2002-192

29

 

and 09 Dec 2002–05 Jan 2003

 

Saticoy VEN

2002-209

29

Fig. 211, ph.

7. 04 Jul 2002

SY

vic. Lakeview RIV

2002-130

29

ph.

8. 11–13 Aug 2002

SY

vic. Marina MTY

2002-154

29

Figs. 102, 210, ph., video, NAB 57:113, Roberson (2002), San Miguel & McGrath (2005)

and 21–27 Sep 2002

SY

vic. Davenport SCZ

2002-161

29

ph.

 

Crested Caracara – Not accepted, identification not established

09 Jan 1994

 

vic. Coachella RIV

1995-018

20

 

20 Jun 1995

2

Oriflamme Mtn. SD

1996-026

21

 

15 Jun 2000

 

Antelope Valley SIE

2000-104

26

 

09 Oct 2001

 

Santa Barbara SBA

2005-026

30

 

07 Dec 2002

 

Brawley IMP

2002-218

29

 

 

Crested Caracara – Not accepted, natural occurrence questionable (identification established)

? Feb 1916

 

Monterey MTY

1988-155

14

record not accepted again on re-review

01 Jan 1967

 

vic. Oceano SLO

2004-032

29

photo in 4 Jan 1967 edition of San Luis Obispo Telegram Tribune; record not accepted again on re-review

07–10 Aug 1972

 

Alameda ALA

1987-369

14

record not accepted again on re-review

21 Oct 1988–26 Mar 1989

ASY

Shasta Valley SIS

1989-045

14

ph., record in re-review

 

Crested Caracara – Not submitted

between 18 Oct and 14 Nov 1837

 

Monterey MTY

 

 

Grinnell & Miller (1944)

winter 1853

 

vic. Fort Yuma IMP

 

 

Grinnell & Miller (1944)

24 Feb 1990

 

Presidio SF

 

 

AB 44:323

date?

 

Orinda CC

 

 

Small (1994)

date?

 

Montaña de Oro State Park SLO

 

 

Small (1994), cf. 2004-032 under “Not accepted, natural occurrence questionable”

date?

 

Laguna Beach ORA

 

 

Small (1994)

31 Jan 1997

 

vic. Brawley IMP

 

 

FN 51:801

16 Sep 2002

 

vic. Santa Cruz SCZ

 

 

NAB 57:113

28 Sep 2002

 

Pescadero SM

 

 

NAB 57:113

21 Oct–06 Nov 2002

 

vic. Half Moon Bay SM

 

NAB 57:113

 

 

 

 

 

Figures

Image3131.TIF

Figure 102. Among record numbers of vagrant Crested Caracaras encountered in 2001 and especially 2002 across the United States and into Canada, how many were naturally occurring vagrants? The CBRC endorsed records of four birds, including this second-fall individual photographed on 11 August 2002 near Marina, Monterey County (2002-154; Scott Hein). A color image of the same individual in flight is provided on page 235.

 

Image3131.TIF

Figure 210. The sequence of flight-feather molt in the Falconidae is unique, proceeding distally and proximally from both the fifth primary and the fifth secondary. This second-fall Crested Caracara, showing obvious contrast between two generations of feathers, was photographed on 11 August 2002 near Marina in Monterey County (2002-154; Scott Hein). The outer primaries are juvenal feathers that are one year old; their broken and frayed condition is consistent with expectations for normal wear.

 

Image3131.TIF

Figure 211. This handsome Crested Caracara, photographed on 19 December 2002 at Saticoy, Ventura County, showed the barred breast and unmarked wing coverts of an adult (2002-209; Larry Sansone).

 

 

 

 

 

Crested Caracara

CRESTED CARACARA Caracara cheriway (Miller, 1777)

Accepted: 8 (45%)

Treated in Appendix H: yes

Not accepted: 10

CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 10

Large color images: see Figures

This distinctive raptor ranges from Baja California Sur (rarely farther north), southern Arizona, Texas, southwestern Louisiana, and Florida south locally through Middle America, the Caribbean, and South America to central Peru and northern Brazil. Individuals generally regarded as naturally occurring vagrants have been recorded north to central New Mexico, southern Colorado, north-central Oklahoma (Oklahoma Bird Records Committee 2006), and southern Alabama. The acceptability of other reports, from as far north as Ontario (Godfrey 1986) and British Columbia (Campbell et al. 2001), is viewed differently by records committees and birders from area to area. Three records each from Washington (Ocean Shores 13 August 1983, Neah Bay 4 January–1 February 1998, Grays Harbor 28–29 May 2006) and Oregon (east of Gold Beach 10 February–21 April 1990, near Langlois 25–29 April 2005, and near Corvallis 7 March–14 April 2006) have been accepted by those states’ records committees, and a 28 March 2006 photographic record from southeastern Oregon is undergoing review.

Rosenberg et al. (1991) considered the Crested Caracara to be formerly resident just across the Colorado River at Yuma, Arizona, with the last bird recorded on 15 January 1905. Although unaware of acceptable records for California, they considered the species likely to have occurred in the state before 1900. They also listed three records from the Arizona side of the river between 1964 and 1980. Grinnell (1928) reviewed historical records from Baja California, including the 15 March 1928 occurrence of three birds within a mile of the Imperial County border. A review by Patten et al. (2001) included two additional specimen records from the Mexicali Valley: 7 December 1896 (SDNHM 349) and 21 December 1922 (SDNHM 10492). Grinnell and Miller (1944) placed this species on their Supplementary List, stating that it “Occurs with very little doubt from time to time as a vagrant from southward.” They listed two sight records from Monterey County, one each in 1837 and 1916, and another from near Fort Yuma, Imperial County, in 1853. Had any of these records been supported by a specimen, the species probably would have been included on their list of native birds of California. The 1916 Monterey County bird, reportedly a female, but presumably a bird in predefinitive plumage, appeared on the heels of “one of the most severe storms in the history of the state, with southerly and southeasterly gales prevailing for several days” and remained to be studied for “two weeks or so” before it moved on (Heath 1919).

The first Crested Caracara to be accepted as a naturally occurring vagrant in California was a bird widely seen and photographed at Mono Lake, Mono County, during a stay that lasted from 13 September to 16 October 1987. This record and three others from disparate parts of California during the 1980s and 1990s were not accepted by the CBRC until 2007, by which time numerous extralimital Crested Caracaras had been found across the state and elsewhere in North America during the 2000s. Addressing this large-scale phenomenon, Brinkley and Lehman (2003) noted, “None were banded; none were especially confiding; and most were juveniles or subadults, perhaps the age classes most likely to make exploratory flights to the north.” See also the summary by Brinkley (2006:333–334). By 2007 most CBRC members were convinced that this species probably strays northward more frequently than was previously believed. Appendix H lists many more records of this species that the Committee has accepted from the years 2004–2006 (the number of individuals involved has not yet been determined) and evaluates incipient patterns of occurrence in the state.

Some California records of the Crested Caracara involve known escapees, a fact that complicates the task of assessing records of a species such as this, which does not regularly undertake long-distance migrations. Recent reports of escapees come from as far away as England (e.g., BW 16:19). Captive Crested Caracaras are held at the Mexicali Zoo in northeastern Baja California (e.g., Hamilton 2001), and the species is also known to have been kept at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, at the Los Angeles Zoo, and at the Living Desert Museum in Palm Desert, California. A 15 March 2005 query of the International Species Information System yielded listings of 19 captive Crested Caracaras at zoos and other participating institutions in North America, including the Palm Desert bird and another in Arizona.

 

[EURASIAN KESTREL Falco tinnunculus Linnaeus, 1758 – see hypothetical section]