Fun Milvago Facts For Kids

Gurpuneet Kaur
Nov 18, 2022 By Gurpuneet Kaur
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Engage yourself by reading some interesting and fun Milvago facts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

Milvago is a species of raptors from the family genus of Falconidae. The species of genus Milvago were already discovered but were known as the former members of Ibycter. In 1824, a German naturalist, Johann Baptist created a separate genus. Milvago is further classified into two subspecies: a yellow-headed caracara (Milvago chimachima) and Chimango caracara (Milvago chimango).

The populations of Milvago range around South America, natively. While the subspecies of the birds are distributed along with the different locations, the yellow-headed birds live in Trinidad, northern Argentina, Costa Rica, and Tobago, and Chimango caracara birds inhabit Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile. The birds are considered raptors or birds of prey.

If the uniqueness of the Milvago makes you interested to read more about similar species, you can read about the Hawaiian hawk and the cockatoo.

Milvago Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Milvago?

The Milvago is a raptor bird, a bird of prey, with two distinctive subspecies: yellow-headed caracara (Milvago chimachima) and Chimango caracara (Milvago chimango).

What class of animal does a Milvago belong to?

The Milvago belongs to the class of Aves.

How many Milvagos are there in the world?

The exact population of the Milvagos remains unknown.

Where does a Milvago live?

The distribution of subspecies of Milvago is distinctively located around the globe. Yellow-headed caracara birds inhabit South America, including Costa Rica, southern and northern Argentina, Trinidad, and Tobago.

The Chimango caracara is speculated to replace the yellow-headed caracara in South America. On the other hand, a Chimango caracara lives in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Falk Islands, and the Atacama.

What is a Milvago's habitat?

The Milvago habitat includes the open forest, forest edge, swamp, savannah, urban and suburban lands. The subspecies have a common difference in respect to their distribution of habitat. While a Chimango caracara inhabits the suburban and urban areas, a yellow-headed caracara is common around the neotropical regions about 5900-8500 ft (1798-2591 m) above sea level.

Who do Milvagos live with?

Milvago species are birds often found to live in pairs.

How long does a Milvago live?

While a yellow-headed Milvago lives up to 12 years in the wild, a Chimango caracara is reported to have an average lifespan of 26 years.

How do they reproduce?

The subspecies of Milvago are recorded to have different reproductive mechanisms and varying breeding seasons. Their nests are cupped-shape build using rags, wool, sticks, and horsehair.

The yellow-headed caracara's breeding season range from March to July. The average clutch size is two to three eggs mostly. The eggs are buff-colored.

The bird is known to mate for life. Both the parents equally contribute to the process of incubation, hatching, nesting, guarding, and grooming. The young birds remain under the protection of their parents up to the month of August.

On the other hand, the distribution of Chimango caracara migrates to the northern parts of the country including Bolivia, northern Argentina, Brazil, and Peru in the non-breeding season. The average clutch size ranges up to five creamy-white eggs. The period range of incubation, breeding, and hatching differs from one location to other.

What is their conservation status?

While the genus Milvago lacks a conservation status in the IUCN List, the subspecies of Milvago are listed as Least Concern under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Milvago chimangos have an increasing population trend in Paraguay, and the yellow-headed caracaras are at low risk in South America due to the high rate of deforestation.

However, the population is at no risk of being Endangered or Extinct.

Milvago Fun Facts

What do Milvagos look like?

The subspecies of Milvagos have distinctive characteristics.

A yellow-headed caracara (Milvago chimachima) has a yellow plumage. It has a long tail and a broad wing. While the species do not exhibit a significant dimorphism, the female is slightly larger than the male. An adult bird has a buff head with brown markings and buff underparts.

A striking feature is a black streak behind its eye. On the other hand, an immature caracara has brown spots on its head and underparts. It has brown plumage and cream feathers. Juveniles sport pale patches on their flight wings.

On the contrary, a Chimango caracara (Milvago chimango) has a light brown-colored belly, neck, breast, and abdomen. The tail of the Chimango caracara is dark brown with a tint of light brown. Its head is dark brown, while the eyes are bright brown in color.

It has a cinnamon brown or white-colored back-edged feather. Its wings also have dark brown stripes with basal white half. The dimorphism is highlighted by its distinct colored legs as the male has yellow legs, while the female has light gray legs.

Yellow-Headed Caracara sitting on a branch

How cute are they?

The Milvago appearance is often considered scary and may or may not be found a cute species. The search highlighted that a yellow-headed caracara is considered cute considering its yellow plumage, while Chimango caracara fails to be one of the cutest animals.

How do they communicate?

Milvagos communicate through vocalizations. The species of the genus Milvago are known to screech. Their voice 'screeeeee' is quite common. It is speculated that the birds from the family Falconidae also communicate through body language and behavioral display.

How big is a Milvago?

The size of the yellow-headed caracara (Milvago chimachima) differs from the size of a Chimango caracara (Milvago chimango). A yellow-headed caracara is 16-18 in (41-46 cm) long, while the length of a Chimango caracara can range up to 13-15.7 in (34-40 cm). The length of the Milvago wingspan remains undeciphered.

How fast can a Milvago fly?

The speed of the genus Milvago varies from one species to another. While a Chimango caracara is a fast-flying bird, a yellow-headed caracara has a sluggish speed and is often found walking on the ground rather than flying. The information recorded regarding the species lacks study on the exact speed of the birds.

How much does a Milvago weigh?

A Milvago weighs up to 0.5-0.8 lb (0.2-0.4 kg). More precisely, the populations of Milvago chimachima range up to 0.8 lb (0.4 kg) of weight, and Chimango caracara weighs between 0.5-0.6 lb (0.2-0.3 kg).

The species of yellow-headed caracara male and female have distinctive weights. While a female weighs from 0.6-0.8 lb (0.3-0.4 kg), the weight of a male ranges from 0.61-0.72 lb (0.28-0.33 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names assigned to the genus Milvago male or Milvago female. While a female bird is called a hen, a male is often known as a rooster.

What would you call a baby Milvago?

A baby Milvago, Milvago chimachima juvenile or Milvago chimango, has no specific name. It is often called a chick, hatchling, nestling, or fledging.

What do they eat?

With two distinct species, the species from the genus Milvago is recorded to prey on different varieties of organisms depending upon its choice. The Chimango caracaras prey on road-killed animals, while yellow-headed caracaras prey on crabs, fish, lizards, worm snakes, flying ants, and other large insects.

Also, a Chimango caracara consumes rabbits, birds, rodents, eggs, and rats. The Milvago diet also comprises small animals, garbage, feces, and carrion. Nonetheless, they also feed on scrap left behind by hawks.

Are they poisonous?

The species of genus Milvago do not possess any poison. Furthermore, the birds are not a threat in any other way even though a Chimango caracara may screech when it feels threatened.

Would they make a good pet?

Milvago birds – Milvago chimango, and Milvago chimachima – are wild scavenger birds. Thus, they do not make good pets. It is also speculated that some professionals can handle the Milvago birds.

Did you know...

The yellow-headed caracara and Chimango caracara belong to the same scientific kingdom, phylum, class order, family, and genus and have various similar and distinctive characteristics. The Chimango caracara is considered a migratory bird, while a yellow-headed caracara is sedentary.

A yellow-headed caracara was first sighted in 1973.

While all terms have their own meanings, the raptor is derived from the Latin word 'rapere', meaning 'to grab'.

Who discovered the Milvago?

While the birds were already considered the former members of Ibycter, the genus Milvago was first created by a German naturalist, Johann Baptist, in 1824.

What are the different types of Milvago?

There are two subspecies recorded: the yellow-headed caracara (Milvago chimachima) and the Chimango caracara (Milvago chimango).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our griffon vulture facts and whiskered treeswift facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable milvago coloring pages.

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Written by Gurpuneet Kaur

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gurpuneet Kaur picture

Gurpuneet KaurBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

As a skilled content writer, Gurpuneet has written and managed engaging content for multiple websites and companies. Driven by a passion for helping young people achieve their full potential, she brings a unique perspective to her work. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College Of Commerce. With extensive experience as a tutor, Gurpuneet has made a significant impact by providing guidance and academic support to students. Her dedication extends beyond tutoring as she has volunteered with Action India, where she offered medical assistance and educational aid to underprivileged communities. Additionally, Gurpuneet has contributed to the creation of student study guides for various educational agencies.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

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Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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