What is the difference between the Southern Crested Caracara and the Striated Caracara?

What is the difference between the Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara planacus) and the Striated Caracara (Phalcoboenus australis)?

The Southern Crested Caracara and the Striated Caracara are both large birds of prey in the Falconidae family. They are falconids.

The Southern Crested Caracara has a dark-brownish cap, belly, wings, and tail tip, with a whitish-buff throat and nape, whereas the Striated Caracara is black-brown with a grey-flecked neck. 

The Southern Crested Caracara has a brown crest and the Striated Caracara does not have a crest.

Southern Crested Caracara (left) and Striated Caracara (right)

The Southern Crested Caracara has large brown eyes with a reddish-orange eye-ring, whereas the Striated Caracara has yellow patches around the bottom of its eyes. 

The Southern Crested Caracara has a reddish-orange cere and a beige hooked beak, whereas the Striated Caracara has a yellow cere and a beige hooked beak. 

The Southern Crested Caracara and the Striated Caracara both have yellow-orange legs.

The Southern Crested Caracara is taller than the Striated Caracara. The Southern Crested Caracara grows to 50-65 centimetres (20-26 inches) tall and the Striated Caracarameasures about 60 centimetres (24 inches) tall. 

The Southern Crested Caracara isnative to central and southern South America, whereas the Striated Caracara is native tosouthern South America, Antarctica, and the Falkland Islands.

The Southern Crested Caracara prefers open or semi-open habitats, whereas the Striated Caracara prefers coastal regions, especially rocky coasts. 

The Southern Crested Caracara is usually solitary, and the Striated Caracara is usually social, seen in flocks of up to 50 individuals. 

Southern Crested Caracara (left) and Striated Caracara (right)
Southern Crested Caracara
Striated Caracar

[Location of photographs: Berlin Zoo, Germany and London Zoo, England]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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