Passing through…

Adult Crested Caracara   Photo by Teddy Llovet

Crested Caracara, adult                               Photo by Teddy Llovet

We, often, have reports from birdwatching friends and dedicated followers. One of our contributing photographers, Teddy Llovet, sent this to us. Since it points out the chance of coming across an unusual visitor, we would like to share with you.

Here today, gone tomorrow…
“A rare visitor came to the Central Coast of California in February 2012 and now again in June 2013. The Crested Caracara, a tropical falcon-like vulture, made its way north from Central and South America.

Crested Caracara, adult   Photo by Teddy Llovet

Crested Caracara, adult                              Photo by Teddy Llovet

Wow, did I hit the gas pedal when I heard it was here. Around 6:45 PM on June 29, 2013, I pulled into a turnout north of Cayucos, California in time to photograph this rare visitor perched on a distant large rock outcrop on the ocean side of Highway 1. Moments later it flew to another even more distant rock outcrop on the inland side of Highway 1. Again I clicked my shutter button.

Crested Caracara, adult   Photo by Teddy Llovet

Crested Caracara, adult                                   Photo by Teddy Llovet

Soon it was flying in circles overhead with me aiming from an almost backbend posture to try to capture its flight. I did my best with my meager 300mm lens. The next day the bird was nowhere to be seen.”   ~Teddy Llovet

To see more of her work go to our “Photographers” page.

Happy trails, Bob

In 2006, I was asked to ID a photo from a friend. It looked to be a Red-tailed Hawk in size and coloration. Everything, but the beak. It looked eagle-like. I told him I have only seen that kind  of beak on a Caracara, but its color was the wrong color and it didn’t belong here. I had never seen a juvenile or photo of one, but that is what it was. A few days later, we saw two. Two years later, we saw an adult. All of these sightings took place in Montaña de Oro State Park, Los Osos, CA.  Last year in February, we had an adult Crested Caracara at Piedras Blancas Lighthouse near San Simeon, CA. It stayed for over a month. ~Bob

Crested Caracara, adult   Photo by Teddy Llovet

Crested Caracara, adult                                  Photo by Teddy Llovet


About Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch

The Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch is here to inform birders, students and all people who are eager to know about these handsome peregrines. We want you to enjoy and be able to use our on-site powerful spotting scopes. We are available to answer your questions about the pair of falcons that have been observed for many years.
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6 Responses to Passing through…

  1. Jill says:

    Good find Terry!! How exciting… 🙂

  2. Sue Linsley says:

    Thanks so much for sharing these pictures! I had heard about the sighting but hadn’t seen any pics.

    • Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch says:

      Yes, Teddy was very fortunate to get these great photos to share with us. She’ll be happy to hear your comment. ~Heather and Bob

  3. janine fallon says:

    Thanks to Teddy for the great photo, and to Heather and Bob for posting it! A rather regal looking guy–it’s really exciting to see such a rare bird in our very own seaside hills! Janine Fallon

    • Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch says:

      Yes, we think the Crested Caracara a good find. This species seems to have been consistently coming north over the past few years. It could mean that we are having climactic changes occurring. We’ll continue observing so we’ll have data to prove the rise in temperatures is continuing. This could be altering the summer migrations of these and other bird species. ~Heather

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