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Red-throated Caracara - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Rio Marañon, Nauta Creek, Nauta, Loreto, Peru, 14 June 2019
Ibycter americanus


43–61 cm (17-24 in)

  • Black overall plumage
  • Red bare skin on throat
  • White belly

Young birds lack the red throat


Photo © by Stanley Jones
Oxapampa, Peru, 18 August 2017

Central America and South America:
Central America: Formerly Mexico to Panama, this species has declined severely, and may now effectively be limited to a few locations in Costa Rica and to eastern Panama.
South America: from Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Ecuador, south to Peru, northern Bolivia and southern Brazil.


This is a monotypic species1.


Primary rainforest and forest edges, open grassland with scattered trees, secondary-growth woodland, often along rivers. In Honduras, also (is? or was?) found in pine savannah. (Different sources disagree as to whether this species can utilize open areas).



Their diet consists mostly of the eggs and larvae of wasps and bees. They are most often seen in branches from the middle of the tree to the canopy.


Photo © by Andy Adcock
Uiparu, Venezuela, 14 January 2016

They build a stick nest.


  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. Ridgely & Gwynne 1989. Birds of Panama. Princeton Paperbacks. ISBN 0691025126
  3. Howell & Webb, 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198540124
  4. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  5. Ber van Perlo. 2009. A field guide to the Birds of Brazil. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-530155-7
  6. Bierregaard, R.O., Jr & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Red-throated Caracara (Ibycter americanus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53188 on 2 August 2019).
  7. Davis, C. and S. McCann (2014). Red-throated Caracara (Ibycter americanus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.retcar2.01
  8. Global Raptor Information Network. 2019. Species account: Red-throated Caracara Ibycter americanus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 2 Aug. 2019
  9. Schulenberg, T. S. & Stotz, D. F. & Lane, D. F. & O'Neill, J. P. & Parker III, T. A. & Egg, A. B. (2010). Birds of Peru: Revised and Updated Edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691130231

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