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Chimango Caracara - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by ibera
Esteros del Ibera, Argentina, April 2007
Milvago chimango

Phalcoboenus chimango


37–43 cm (14½-17 in)

  • Mottled or barred underparts
  • Dark streaks on head sides and nape
  • Yellowish bill
  • Pinkish bare facial skin

Male: bright yellow legs; Female: gray legs and toes


Northern race is darker than those found in the south.


Juvenile, subspecies temucoensis
Photo © by jmorlan
Ushuaia--Barco Hundido, Ushuaia Department, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, February 2018

It can be identified in flight by its pale rump and the distinctive pale "windows" on the wings.


South America: breeds from Paraguay, Uruguay and the far south of Brazil south to Tierra del Fuego. Southernmost breeders are migratory and move north to about 250S in the southern winter. Recorded as a vagrant in the Falkland Islands. It is the commonest raptor in its area.

It is particularly widespread in Chile, where has become a kind of urban raptor, can be found all over the country.



Photo © by Luis R
Chacabuco, Region Metropolitana de Santiago, Chile, May 2016

Two subspecies are recognised[1]:

  • M. c. chimango:
  • M. c. temucoensis:
  • Southern Chile and southern Argentina to Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn Archaepelago

An additional subspecies fuegensis in Tierra del Fuego is not generally recognised[2].


Open country, most common on the pampas of southern Argentina. Sometimes follows ploughs on cultivated land.



Usually seen by the side of the roads eating carrion, but it also feeds a wide variety of small wild prey including frogs.


Call is a loud "ieeeee".


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2016)
  4. Arthur Grosset
  5. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

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