Chimango caracara

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Chimango caracara
Milvago chimango -Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil-8.jpg
Nominate in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Milvago
M. chimango
Binomial name
Milvago chimango
(Vieillot, 1816)
Phalcoboenus chimango map.svg

Milvago chimango

The chimango caracara (Phalcoboenus chimango) is a species of bird of prey in the family Falconidae. It is found in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay and south of Brazil. The chimango is found as far south as Tierra del Fuego and is a vagrant to the Islas Malvinas also known as Falkland Islands.


Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, high-altitude shrubland, temperate grassland, Patagonian steppe, and heavily degraded former forest. This bird is typically found at edges of water and near towns and fields, the latter especially if they are newly ploughed. It is the most common raptor in the Argentinean Patagonia and Chile.[2]

Species description[edit]

This species is from 37 to 40 cm long. A typical chimango caracara has a mantle and back edged with cinnamon brown feathers and white. Neck, chest, abdomen and belly light brown. Head dark brown. It is the smallest variety of caracara. Wings have a dark brown stripe with white in the basal half of the primaries. The tail is light brown with a dark brown terminal band. Eyes are brown. Legs are yellow in the male and light gray in the female and hatchlings.


The chimango is an intelligent bird and has high problem solving abilities compared to other birds.[3] It eats insects, small vertebrates and carrion.[4] The chimango is also known to catch living fish from the surface of the water.[5]



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Milvago chimango". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Donázar, José A; Ceballos, Olga; Travaini, Alejandro; Hiraldo, Fernando (1993). "Roadside raptor surveys in the Argentinean Patagonia". Journal of Raptor Research. 27 (2): 106–110.
  3. ^ Biondi, Laura Marina; Bó, María Susana; Vassallo, Aldo Iván (1 September 2010). "Inter-individual and age differences in exploration, neophobia and problem-solving ability in a Neotropical raptor (Milvago chimango)". Animal Cognition. 13 (5): 701–710. doi:10.1007/s10071-010-0319-8. PMID 20300791. S2CID 23755597.
  4. ^ Biondi, Laura M.; Favero, Maria Susana Bo and Marco (2005). "Dieta Del Chimango (Milvago Chimango) Durante El Periodo Reproductivo En El Sudeste De La Provincia De Buenos Aires, Argentina" [Diet of the Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango) during the breeding season in the southeastern Buenos Aires Province, Argentina]. Ornitologia Neotropical (in Spanish). 16 (1): 31–42.
  5. ^ Sazima, Ivan; Olmos, Fabio (September 2009). "The Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango), an additional fisher among Caracarini falcons". Biota Neotropica. 9 (3): 403–405. doi:10.1590/S1676-06032009000300036.

External links[edit]