Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Near Threatened

Striated Caracara (Phalcoboenus australis)


French: Caracara austral German: Falklandkarakara Spanish: Caracara austral
Other common names: Forster's Caracara

Falco australis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,

Staten Island


Sometimes considered to form part of the P. megalopterus species-group (see that species), but apparently more distinctive than congeners. Monotypic.


Islets off extreme S South America, including Staten, Navarino and Cape Horn, and Falkland Is; irregularly to S & E coasts of I Grande, Tierra del Fuego.

Descriptive notes

53–65 cm; c. 1187 g, wingspan 116–125 cm. Often tame, at least on offshore islands. Sexes differ slightly in size (female marginally larger). Black to brownish... read more


Commonest calls include a cat-like wailing "waa-aow", a high-pitched, repeated scream, a... read more


Open lowlands to perhaps c. 500 m, from tidal zone perhaps to low coastal mountains; most typically... read more

Food and feeding

Dead and dying adults and chicks of colonial seabirds, when these are actively breeding. Scavenges in colonies of penguins (especially... read more


In Falkland Is, hatching in Dec (season late Oct–Jan). Builds modest nest of twigs and dried grass, lined with wool when available,... read more


Not migratory, but may move seasonally up into coastal mountains. On N coast of Navarino I, and S... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Rare overall. Heavily persecuted in past on main Falkland Is, due to its attacks on weak or stranded... read more

Recommended citation

Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Kirwan, G.M., Garcia, E.F.J. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Striated Caracara (Phalcoboenus australis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).