Black Caracara (Daptrius ater)

Black Caracara

[order] FALCONIFORMES | [family] Falconidae | [latin] Daptrius ater | [authority] Vieillot, 1816 | [UK] Black Caracara | [FR] Caracara noir | [DE] Gelbkehl-Karakara | [ES] Caracara Negro | [NL] Zwarte Caracara


Monotypic species


The Black Caracara (Daptrius ater) is a species of bird of prey in the Falconidae family. It is the only species in its genus Daptrius which is often considered monotypic today, though some also include the Red-throated Caracara otherwise separated in Ibycter.

Physical charateristics

All shiny black plumage with a bare red face skin. Throat is yellow skinned. White band across upper part of black tail, legs yellow

Listen to the sound of Black Caracara

[audio: Caracara.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Sjoerd Mayer

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 41 cm size max.: 47 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


South America : Amazonia


Riparian forest, conspicuous moving in small groups, high in trees. Also wooded savanna and forest gallery.


Very Little known, but nest is built in trees with 2 to eggs laid. A Brazilian nest was a fairly small stick structure located in the top of a large clump of bromeliads in the crown of a tree

Feeding habits

Omnivorous, eats pratically anything, carrion, small mammals, birds and fruit. Said to eat ticks of Tapirs. When the tapir calls, the bird arriv, the tapir will lay down and the Caracaras will eat the ticks.

Video Black Caracara


copyright: J. del Hoyo


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be small, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Occurs in Amazonia from the Guianas to Northern Bolivia and from Eastern Colombia to Southern Venezuela. In Suriname common along rivers and forest roads. Almost always up high in the trees.
Black Caracara status Least Concern


Very little data available, thought to be sedentary.

Distribution map

Black Caracara distribution range map

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