• WordNet 3.6
    • n caracara any of various long-legged carrion-eating hawks of South America and Central America
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Caracara kä`rȧkä"rȧ (Zoöl) A south American bird of several species and genera, resembling both the eagles and the vultures. The caracaras act as scavengers, and are also called carrion buzzards.☞ The black caracara is Ibycter ater; the chimango is Milvago chimango; the Brazilian is Polyborus Braziliensis.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n caracara The popular name of the hawks of the subfamily Polyborinæ and genera Polyborus, Phalcobænus, Senex, Milvago, Ibycter, and Daptrius, all of which are confined to America. The name is specially applicable to the species of Polyborus, of which there are several, as P. cherivay, P. auduboni, and P. lutosus, of the southern United States and warmer parts of America. These are large, vulture-like hawks, of terrestrial, ambulatory, not saltatory, habits, preying chiefly upon carrion. The head and neck are extensively denuded; the legs and wings are comparatively long; the beak is toothless, with the cere ending vertically, the nostrils high up, linear, and oblique, with concealed tubercle. Though vulturine in general aspect and economy, the caracaras approach the typical falcons in some anatomical characters, as in the peculiar structure of the shoulder-joint, the extensively ossified nasal bones with central nasal tubercle, and the anterior keel of the palate. The common caracara is much varied with white and black barring of the plumage, and is about 22 inches long. Also called carcara and carrancha.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Caracara kar-a-kar′a a popular name for the South American Polyborinæ, a sub-family of Falconidæ, resembling the vultures.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary


In literature:

Evenden (1952:113) saw three Caracaras "south of Saltillo" on March 5.
"Birds from Coahuila, Mexico" by Emil K. Urban
It is commonly met with in company with Caracaras, Turkey Buzzards and Black Vultures, feeding upon carrion.
"The Bird Book" by Chester A. Reed