The Striated Caracara (Phalcoboenus australis) is a bird of prey, a raptor in the falconid family – related to the falcon. It is also called a Johnny Rook.
The Striated Caracara is black-brown with yellow-orange legs. Its neck is flecked with grey. It has yellow patches around the bottom of its eyes and the rear of its beak. It has a hooked grey beak.
It measures about 60 centimetres (24 inches) tall.
The Striated Caracara is native to Antarctica, Argentina, Chile, and the Falkland Islands. It prefers coastal regions, especially rocky coasts.
It is a scavenger. It eats seabirds, bird eggs, small animals, worms, and carrion (the meat of dead animals). It can dig small seabirds out of their burrows to eat them.
The Striated Caracara is social and hunts in flocks of up to 50 individuals. It is a fast flier and can reach speeds of about 60 kilometres per hour (37 miles per hour).
The Striated Caracara makes a nest on the ground or high on a cliff ledge. The nest is made of twigs and vegetation, lined with wool or grass. The female lays up to 4 eggs, which hatch after 30 days. The chicks take about 5 years to reach their full adult colouring.
The Striated Caracara is known to live for about 30 years.
[Location of photographs: London Zoo, England]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM