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caracara(kär'əkär`ə): see falconfalcon,
common name for members of the Falconidae, a heterogeneous family of long-winged birds of prey similar to the hawks but genetically more closely related to the parrots and other birds.
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the common name for birds of the subfamily Daptriinae, family Falconidae, order of diurnal birds of prey. In contrast to the true falcon, the caracara lacks a tooth on the upper beak and has naked cheeks and throat (sometimes sparsely covered with feathers). It has blunt wings, a long crop, and weak claws. It flies rather poorly but runs well; therefore it tends to stay on the ground.
Carnearas are insectivorous or omnivorous and frequentlyfeed on carrion. They are found in America from the southernUSA to Tierra del Fuego. There are four genera with nine spe-cies. The common caracara, or carancha (Polyborus planeas), isabout 70 cm long; its back is dark brown with lighter crossstripes, and its head is crested. It lives in open level terrain andnests in bushes. It lays two to three eggs in a clutch, which areincubated for 28 days.