Caracara: nesting distribution and preferences

At Sea Lion Island, we currently have about 20 territorial caracaras pairs, and most of them make a nesting attempt every season, usually being successful. Although there are a few pairs that nest inland, in the lodge area and at the west end of the island, most pairs nest around the island coastline, close to the sea.

Caracara's nest map

Caracaras are territorial. Adult pairs defend an area, and nest within this area. They can be very aggressive toward other adults and juveniles, including their own previous chicks.

Caracaras' fight

Caracaras figthing

Caracara pair attacking juvenile

Caracara's pair attacking a juvenile


Caracara can nest in different places, from bare ground to cliffs, but they show a preference for nesting on tussac plants.

Caracara's nest in the tussac

Caracara's nest placed inland, in the tussac grass

Caracara's nest on the ground

Caracara's nest placed inland, on the ground

Caracara's nest on the coastline

Caracara's nest placed on the coastline, high in the tussac grass

The different pairs tend to re-use the same nest year after year. Successful pairs of one season are susually able to nest again with good success the following season, but there are expections. Recently, the pairs that was used to nest in the Elephant Corner area, that was successful for a long string of season, stopped breeding for unknow reasons. We suspect that the competition with a new pair of a nearby area may be the cause of the failure.

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