Crested Caracara lazing around in the Tijuana River Valley

[All photographs, movies copyright, Gary Nunn 2013] – I was making a quick circuit of the Sod Farm, down on Dairy Mart Road, when I noticed the Tijuana River was actually flowing with water! Evidently the entire river bed had recently been closely mowed of all tall herbaceous vegetation and now the river itself could be easily seen. In fact, it looked as if the recent rain storm had flooded the river bed which was now a patchwork of muddy pools. The smell was not great but there were shorebirds and raptors all over the place. While scanning for shorebirds I was quite shocked to find this fantastic looking adult Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway sitting like a big chicken in a pile of dried brush! It actually looked pretty comfortable! Caracaras are just weird whatever way you look at it!

This is the third occasion I have found a Crested Caracara frequenting this area over the last couple of years. One was last seen here just over a year ago in early September 2012. When the bird is around it seems hit-and-miss to locate it, but it can be seen anywhere from the Dairy Mart Ponds all the way east, along the river bed, as far as the back lot of the Las Americas Premium Outlets Mall at the west end of San Ysidro.

4 thoughts on “Crested Caracara lazing around in the Tijuana River Valley

  1. There’s a pair in the Otay Lake area. I’ve seen one at a time in that area and south of the mall along the 125 (where mockingbirds were pestering a caracara mercilessly). The pair were seen about half way between Wueste Road and the air strip in the late morning of April 6.

  2. While eating lunch at the zoo, some type of raptor (?) flew and glided over, about 100-200 feet above, in a curved path. I could not identify it., but recorded its light colored primaries near the wingtips . The boundary between those whitish feathers and the rest of the wing is a diagonal.

    The white region is wider at the front of the wing.
    The pictures in Peterson “Western Birds”, of the underside of a Caracara match what I saw.
    I have not seen a Caracara since 1978, around the river-sewer which flows from La Paz,, Bolivia. There were many standing and walking.

  3. That was Sunday, July 30. I have seen a male and a female pair of wood ducks, both flying in to land on the hippopotamus pool at the Zoo. Sibley ‘s map does not show any of those this far west., I saw a lone male wood duck, flight capable, in the lower pond below the
    Eagle Trail, downhill from the Asian Leopards exhibit. That was in late 2016.

    While I was testing and adjusting a 25 x 150 binocular in the crow’s nest of a tuna boat in Ensenada, about 15 or 20 years ago, a group of about 12 flamingoes flew three times around the harbor. Were those pets of a golf course or private zoo, or ?

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