Northern crested caracara (Caracara cheriway) on its nest
Papiamento name: warawara
This medium-sized bird of prey has a predominantly dark brown plumage with white barred underparts. Its head is white, except for a black crown and a short, black crest at the rear. Its eyes and facial skin are red, and the hooked bill is gray. Its black wings and tail have white barring. The Northern crested caracara frequently uses its long, yellow legs to walk and run on the ground. Like most birds of prey, females are larger than males. Juveniles are similar to adults, but their plumage is brown instead of black.
The Northern crested caracara is seen flying above Washington Slagbaai National Park, notably around Slagbaai. It is a breeding resident of the island, and also nests on Curacao and Aruba. It builds a large nest made of sticks in a cactus, tree or on the ground. The female lays two to three eggs. The Northern crested caracara feeds mainly on carrion. Tales of caracaras killing little goats are probably based on sightings of these birds eating already dead animals.
Photo credit: Robert Jan van Oosten (2012)
Dutch CaribbeanBonairebiodiversitybirdcaracaraFalconidaeNorthern crested caracaraCaracara cheriwaynestwarawara