Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima)

Order: Falconiformes Family: Falconidae IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Loreto, Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Amazonian Colombia

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Amazonian Ecuador

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Loreto, Peru

Identification & Behavior: ~44.5 cm (17.5 in). The adult Yellow-headed Caracara is mostly creamy white with a dusky brown back. It has a dusky streak from the back of the eye and yellow bare face. In flight, the wings show conspicuous pale panels.  The juvenile is mostly dusky brown with pale streaking on the head and neck and barring on the belly. It is somewhat similar to the Laughing Falcon but lacks the black mask. It forages in open areas.

Status: The Yellow-headed Caracara is fairly common in the north and central portion of the Peruvian Amazon, but rare in the Southeast. It also occurs in Co, Ec, Br, and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Caracara Chimachima.

Sub-species: Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima cordata), Bangs and Penard 1918. Colombia to S (E of Andes) to Amazon.
(M. c. chimachima), Vieillot 1816. E Bolivia and Brazil S of Amazon.

Meaning of Name: Milvago: L. milvus= falcon; and ago= previous, similar. chimachima: Argentine onomatopoeia for the sound from the Caracara Chimachima.

See more of the Family Falconidae   peru aves

Distribution Map
yellow-headed caracaraVoice


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 08/01/2015.