Birds of Prey ... Falcon Information ... The Sport of Falconry
Yellow-headed Caracara, Milvago chimachima

Distribution / Range

Milvago is a genus of bird of prey - the members of which are native to South America, with Yellow-headed Caracara (M. chimachima) just reaching to the Isthmus of Panama and into Costa Rica.

Prehistorically the genus extended into the Caribbean. There it might have become extinct as late as after the arrival of the first humans in the early Holocene, though there is no evidence for this at present and they more likely disappeared already during the last glacial period.


This genus contains the following species:


Fossil records:

  • Milvago brodkorbi (Late Pleistocene of Peru)
  • Milvago alexandri (Late Pleistocene of Hispaniola, West Indies)
  • Jamaican Caracara, ?Milvago sp. (Late Pleistocene/Holocene of Jamaica, West Indies)
  • Cuban Caracara, Milvago carbo (Holocene of Cuba, West Indies)

A paleosubspecies* of the Yellow-headed Caracara from Florida is also known. (*A species which changes physically, morphologically, genetically, and/or behaviorally over time on an evolutionary scale)

Chimango Caracara

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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