|Cara Cara Mom and chick|
I'm calling the adult bird the Mom since it stayed near the chick, while a third Cara Cara stood on a stump nearby in a sentinel position.
Talk about Sara N. Dippity riding along with you ...
The main reason for going to KP State Preserve was a chance to see this rare bird. Cara Caras are tropical critters who only visit Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Mostly, they are South American.
I knew KP had a reputation for hosting Cara Caras, but I didn't know if it was a seasonal influx or a permanent population. If it was seasonal, I could be there during the wrong season.
Plus ... the park is over 50,000 acres ...what are the odds I would see a Cara Cara?
These were things I was mulling through my head as I raced a setting sun out of the park. Florida state parks close at sunset and I was NOT going to be THAT visitor who kept everybody waiting, because he didn't pay attention to that fact.
I HAVE been the ranger who has his supper get cold while trying to track down that knucklehead visitor who is somewhere in the park after closing.
The light was going, the park gate was in sight, only a a half mile ahead, and I had resigned myself to not seeing a single Cara Cara, and then ... there they were!
Feeding on bits and pieces of who knows what in a wide freshly bush-hogged strip of chopped up palmetto prairie on the roadside. I had seen the tractor working that very day as I drove in, so the strip of mowed land was probably rich with food sources for a scavenger/predator like the Cara Cara.
|Oh Sweet Sara.|
Not only was there a Cara Cara, but there was a Cara Cara chick, all whiny and fuzz-headed.
The chick whined constantly.
The parent ignored it.
I grew nostalgic.
I watched them pick through the bush hog debris for a while, until the setting sun was just touching the western edge of the palmetto sea.
Then I fired up all 4 cylinders on the JEEP and zipped out the gate.
Just another case of Sara N. Dippity riding along beside me ... or ...
... was this a case of Cara N. Dippity?