Fun Chimango Caracara Facts For Kids

Arpitha Rajendra
May 11, 2023 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Discover interesting chimango caracara facts.

The chimango caracara of the family Falconidae are also called Tiuque. Chimango caracara (Milvago chimango) is a bird of prey and is mainly active during the day. They are commonly found among raptors in and around the high-altitude Austral forest.

The yellow-headed caracara and chimango caracara are former members of the Ibycter. Many other caracara species of bird were a part of this genus.

It was in 1922 that they were put into the Milvago genus by the ornithologist Harry Kirke Swann. Although few authorities validated this genu again, further study is required about the relationships of caracaras. The north chimango caracaras are darker than south chimango caracaras.

They hunt and eat a variety of small animals and eat anything they can find. They feed on road-killed animals such as snakes, guinea pigs, and amphibians.

This Milvago bird species is highly intelligent and has better problem-solving abilities than other species of birds. They can catch a living fish from the water's surface. These are relatively small raptors that have low visual acuity.

Check out our other interesting articles about common ground dove and black tern.

Chimango Caracara Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a chimango caracara?

The Milvago chimango is a small species of the neotropical caracara and this bird species occupies a large range of habitats. The chimango caracara (Milvago chimango) is of the genus Milvago and family Falconidae.

They are very intelligent and innovative birds, and they can catch live fish from the water's surface. Chimango caracaras are known to be birds of prey.

There are two recognized subspecies of chimango caracara which are M. c. chimango found in the south of Paraguay, Brazil, central Chile, and Argentine. The other subspecies is M. c. temucoensis which is found in southern Chile, Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, and Cape Horn Archipelago.

What class of animal does a chimango caracara belong to?

The Milvago chimango belongs to the Aves class of animals.

How many chimango caracaras are there in the world?

The population of chimango caracara and their subspecies increases where there are heavily degraded former forest areas.

Where does a chimango caracara live?

The Milvago chimango is a species of bird that occupies tropical regions in the south of Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, and  Uruguay. They are also found in far southern parts like Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands. Also, chimango caracaras can be found from Magallanes to Atacama.

What is a chimango caracara's habitat?

The Milvago chimango commonly inhabits suburban and urban regions. The natural habitat of this species of bird is heavily degraded former forest, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, temperate grasslands, and tropical or subtropical high-altitude shrubland.

The habitat of a chimango caracara  (Milvago chimango) also includes forested and open areas across its range and they can also be found near human settlements. The Milvago chimango is common species of bird that can be found in the Pampas region of southern Argentina and they follow plows on cultivated land.

Who do chimango caracaras live with?

The chimango caracara of the Falconidae family lives in pairs. A caracara male and female maintain a huge territory with nests until one of them dies.

How long does a chimango caracara live?

The Milvago chimango lifespan is around 26 years.

How do they reproduce?

During the non-breeding seasons, caracara birds migrate to the northern parts of Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. Chimango caracara (milvago) birds return to Cuyan, Patagonian, and Fuegian in the breeding season. Other species breeding in the center of Argentina move northwards to Brazil.

The wide range of habitats includes tropical and subtropical shrubland, temperate grasslands, and open areas. Both females and males build nests and create a territory at 16-49 ft (5-15 m) high in a tree. The nests are cup-shaped and made out of sticks, wool, rags, and horsehair.

Females lay two to five creamy-white eggs. Both male and female Milvago chimangoes take part in the incubation, hatching, feeding, and guarding process. The incubation period differs depending on the location.

For example, few records show incubation lasts between 26 to 27 and 32 to 34 days in Argentina. While in Chile, the incubation period lasts for 32 to 42 days. The data on the incubation periods in Uruguay, Brazil, and other subtropical regions is not known.

What is their conservation status?

The chimango caracara (Milvago chimango) is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List of Species. In Chile, this species has low priority status, in Argentina, they are at low risk, and in Uruguay, they are given a status of ‘Least Concern’.

Forest clearing is beneficial for the bird species as they prefer open areas and can endure human activities. In Brazil, they are not injured by ranchers for hunting lambs. Milvago chimangoes are increasing in number in Paraguay.

Chimango Caracara Fun Facts

What do chimango caracaras look like?

The chimango caracara milvago raptor has an acrobatic flight. This species has a back-edged feather that is cinnamon brown and white. These birds have a light brown-colored abdomen, neck, chest, and belly. Their tail is dark brown with light brown feathers.

Their head is dark brown and their eyes are brown. They have dark brown stripes on their wings with a white basal half. Male birds have yellow legs and females have light gray legs.

How cute are they?

Many people think that they are not cute.

How do they communicate?

They communicate by screeching. Sometimes these birds of the Falconidae family communicate using their body language and behavioral display.

How big is a chimango caracara ?

The Milvago chimango is a species that is 13.3-15.7 in (34-40 cm) long. The height of this raptor is unknown.

How fast can a chimango caracara fly?

Chimango caracaras are fast-flying birds, however, the exact speed is unknown.

How much does a chimango caracara weigh?

The chimango caracara (Milvago chimango) weighs around 0.5-0.6 lb (0.25-0.3 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to females or males.

What would you call a baby chimango caracara?

A baby chimango caracara(Milvago chimango) has no particular name.

What do they eat?

The chimango caracara (Milvago chimango) diet includes road-killed animals. They eat whatever they can and their diet consists of birds, eggs, rodents, rabbits, and rats. They are sometimes seen feeding on carrion along the roadside. They also eat insects that they catch mid-air.

Are they dangerous?

No, chimango caracaras are not dangerous. However, they screech when they feel threatened.

Would they make a good pet?

No. These tropical and subtropical chimango caracaras (Milvago chimango) birds do not make good pets as they prefer to live in the wild and they feed on road-kill.

Did you know...

Usually, chimango caracaras are considered migratory birds. They are very territorial and they only move if the environment changes. They often migrate to a wide range of places around the world such as Chile, southern Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Caracaras are more closely related to birds than vultures.

Chimango caracaras do not feed on livestock. They prefer to eat feed on road-kill or already dead animals.

The word 'caracara' is a South American Indian name that refers to a 'bird's call'.

'Raptor' is a derivation of the Latin word 'rapere', meaning 'to carry away', 'to grab,' or 'to size'.

What eats chimango caracara?

A chimango caracara bird (Milvago chimango) is mostly eaten by hawks, vultures, and eagles. They can also be eaten by reptiles and serpents when they are baby birds. Weasels and bobcats are also known to eat these birds.

Is a chimango caracara a bird of prey?

Yes, the chimango caracara raptor is a bird of prey and they primarily hunt vertebrates. The chimango caracara (Milvago chimango) raptor has good eyesight that helps it to see long distances when it is in flight.

Their beaks and talons are robust and they are also fast and agile. This bird species is also commonly known as a fish eagle.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including long-tailed ducks or common potoo.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our crested caracara coloring pages.

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Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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