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Notes on Action of the Audubon Caracara

Ernest R. Tinkham
Publication Information
Journal: 
Condor
Volume: 
50
Issue: 
6 (November-December)
Section: 
From Field and Study
Year: 
1948
Pages: 
274

Notes on Actions of the Audubon Caracara.--On March 11, 1947, my brother and I were camped about one mile south of the watering stop of Piedra, 22 miles southeast of Guaymas, Sonora. Here we observed an Audubon Caracara stalking along the railroad track about 100 feet away. Presently it came down the bank to the edge of a small grassy opening where another adult caracara was standing near the base of a small clump of mesquite. The two faced each other about one foot apart when suddenly the tirst caracara threw back its head until the tip of the black crest feathers rested on its back. While in this strange position, with throat feathers fluffed out, it uttered a peculiar sound which I recorded as cre-a-ak-croa.-ak-crea-ak. Within a minute, as we watched less than fifty feet away, the same performance was repeated. It was probably some sort of a mating call. The other adult, possibly a female, stood still during these performances.

Later the caracara which gave this exhibition walked to a log about two feet in length and three or four inches in diameter. It seized the wood with its feet, gave a tug, and easily pulled it out of the way. Then it stepped forward to where the log bad lain and started searching for insects. Not tinding any, it scratched like a hen for a few seconds and examined the scratchings for what they might contain. Again finding nothing, it once more scratched and searched without results and then stalked back to where the other caracara was stationed. The two then ambled off and were soon lost to view in the mesquite brush.--ERNEST R. TINKHAM, Twson, Arizona, April 20,1948. 

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