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Guadalupe Caracaras, Caracara lutosa

Guadalupe Caracara

Guadalupe Caracaras are an extinct species of falcons that lived year around on Guadalupe Island, off the west coast of Mexico.

Island farmers significantly diminished Caracaras’ population by the late 1800s in response to predation on their goats and poultry. Historical accounts describe the relentless attacks and viciousness of the falcons.

Museums and researchers collecting specimens eliminated the last few Caracaras in the early 1900s, a common final nail in the coffin for many species during that period.

Guadalupe Caracaras inhabited the rugged terrain and rocky coastal cliffs of Guadalupe Island. They exhibited territorial behavior and were known for their bold and fearless nature, often stealing food from other seabirds. They were known to perch on cliffs and near farms and scan their surroundings for potential prey.

Their diet mainly consisted of a variety of items, including seabirds, bird eggs, small mammals, and carrion. They were opportunistic hunters and preyed on small livestock.

Nest building typically took place on cliffs or rocky outcrops. The nests were constructed with sticks, grass, and other available materials.

The female Guadalupe Caracara usually laid one to three eggs, and both parents took turns incubating them. After hatching, the parents provided care to the chicks and fed them a diet consisting of regurgitated food.

As the chicks grew, they learned to forage under the guidance of the adults, becoming increasingly independent, eventually reaching adulthood and fierce predators.