Delighted at two Striated Caracara chicks
3rd August 2016
Staff at Paradise Park are thrilled that two Striated Caracara chicks have hatched and are doing well.
Director Alison Hales comments “The adults have been living with us at the Park for several years but these two chicks are the first they have produced. They are interesting birds, very smart and inquisitive which helps them to survive in difficult habitats when they need to find a wide range of foods.
The new parents have been quite secretive so when we got a glimpse of the chicks raising their heads for food it was very exciting. They are growing fast now and will soon leave their nest. The plan for them is to join unrelated mates in other bird collections in the UK or Europe.”
The Striated Caracara is primarily a scavenger, feeding on carrion, offal and unusually for a falcon, it digs up small invertebrates using its claws. It also preys on injured creatures such as young seabirds, but because it also attacks weak lambs it has been ruthlessly persecuted by sheep farmers.
It was once considered common in the Falkland Islands where it is known as the ‘Johnny Rook’. Charles Darwin visited East Falkland, in 1833 and wrote that it was ‘exceedingly numerous’. Recent surveys suggest there are currently 500-650 pairs remaining on the Falklands, mainly living on islands uninhabited by people. This species is considered ‘near threatened’ on ‘the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species’ http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22696247/0