White-throated Caracara (Phalcoboenus albogularis)

White-throated Caracara

[order] FALCONIFORMES | [family] Falconidae | [latin] Phalcoboenus albogularis | [authority] Gould, 1837 | [UK] White-throated Caracara | [FR] Caracara a gorge blanche | [DE] Weisskehl-Karakara | [ES] Caracara Aurocano | [NL] Witkeelcaracara


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Phalcoboenus albogularis SA s Chile, s Argentina


Phalcoboenus is a small genus of birds of prey in the Falconidae family. They are found in barren, open habitats in the Andes, Patagonia and the Falkland Islands. The four species are almost entirely allopatric. The adults are distinctive, with bare yellow, orange or red facial skin and cere, and a black plumage with variable amounts of white. Juveniles are overall brown with pale pinkish-grey facial skin and cere. They are highly opportunistic and typically seen walking on the ground, where they will feed on carrion and virtually any small animal they can catch

Physical charateristics

The adult bird is brownish black above; the upper-tail coverts are white, and there is a white bar on the end of the tail and on the wingtips. Below, including wing linings, it is white. The feathers on its forehead project upwards to form a slight crest, whilst those of crown are narrow and pointed. The sides of its head are partially bare of feathers. The eyes are hazel, the bill bluish, yellow near the tip; the cere and sides of head vary from yellow to orange; the feet are yellow. The immature is very similar, but its crown is less curly, and its colour generally darker.

Listen to the sound of White-throated Caracara

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/FALCONIFORMES/Falconidae/sounds/White-throated Caracara.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Bernabe Lopez-Lanus

wingspan min.: 115 cm wingspan max.: 125 cm
size min.: 49 cm size max.: 55 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 : South Chile, South Argentina. The Darwin’s or White-throated Caracara can be found on the slopes of the Andes from southern Mendoza, Argentina and Chile, south through Patagonia, and into Tierra del Fuego.


This species is less well known than the Mountain Caracara (Phalcoboenus megalopterus), but many of their habits are similar. This species is common in beech forest, whereas the Mountain Caracara prefers open country. It is, at least in Chile, scarce and timid, seen in groups only at carcasses where they may gather along with Condors, Turkey Vultures and Common Caracaras.


Builds a stick nest on rock ledges. Clutch size 2-3 eggs,

Feeding habits

This species subsists on a mix of large insects and other invertebrates together with young rodents and birds. It is also not above scavenging for edible garbage and carrion.

Video White-throated Caracara


copyright: Kiersten Rowland


This species has a very 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.
White-throated Caracara status Least Concern


Probably sedentary

Distribution map

White-throated Caracara distribution range map

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