Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Crested Cara Cara con Crested Cara Cara Chick

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?


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Sara was good to you. Loved hearing the little (?) beggar. I have seen young Cara Caras before but not heard them. What a fun sighitng.

threecollie said...

Ah, that is just wonderful!

Dina J said...

I'm sending you a pix of me so you can see how green with envy I am. This one is still on my list. KP was on the top of my list to head to in winter but maybe a trip there soon might need to be planned. Great catch on the baby.

How did the house on stilts fair during Debby? I heard Cedar Key got hit pretty hard.

robin andrea said...

Seeing them and hearing them! Truly Cara N. Dippity. Wonderful sighting, cool sounds.

Island Rider said...

Oh my gosh. It sounds so human! Poor little thing. But I know how that momma feels.

Deb said...

Yeah, I can identify with that mama cara cara too!

Aunty Belle said...

Wow...I never knew they wuz thar'--an' it ain't too far from me--which means, ya' came this close an' din't stop in fer lemonade?

kenoconnor said...

We were fortunate to have observed 2 adults and 1 chick a few years ago at the Viera Wetlands while attending the Space Coast birding festival. They were quite a sight!

Sally said...

Awesome video. I volunteer at the Texas City Prairie Preserve, just north of Galveston, TX. We have a resident mating pair of Cara Caras that live here year-round. Of course, some of the bird books say their range doesn't extend this far north, but the birds have not read the books. Cara Caras are attentive parents.

Floridacracker said...

It was waaaay fun!

All the more so when you think its not going to happen and then it does!

Green is my favorite color. Thanks for asking about the camps. They seem to have come through it okay. One friend who has a lower camp took on some water, but nothing serious.

The chick reminded me of the whiny tone my PFHQ barred owl chicks produce.

Feed me, feed me might be the translation.

Me too! LOL!

Dear, I thought you were in Alabamy. My faux pas.

I was there at the festival, but have yet to see Viera.
I went to see Zick!

Hi Sally,
Neat! Thank you for volunteering.
I guess we may see Cara Caras even farther north as things warm up.
I agree with the attentiveness. The adults were on the ball.

Caroline said...

Very hungry children of the Animal Kingdom, regardless of phylum, class, order, genus and species all sound the same.:o)

Floridacracker said...

How true!

Dani said...

What a lucky man you are!

Miami Dodge said...

Cara Cara and Sara so sweet.....
Miami Jeep

edifice rex said...

Very cool!

Misti said...

I used to see Caracara's often, I think year round too, when I lived in south Florida. I thought I wouldn't see them much if at all when I moved back to Texas, thinking their range would be more towards Brownsville, but we see them here in the Houston area and I've seen them out towards Austin. They aren't nearly as common as in SoFlo but they are definitely here.

And swallowtail kites---another happy surprise to see here as well.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Glad you saw Caracaras con Carne. Whatever it was.
Here's to you and fabulous scavenging rapteroid birds. I got my best looks at this species in Guyana, and they never got old. I especially appreciate the pastel bills.
FYI Sara N. Dippity rides with you all the time because you are more fun than the rest of us.