I was driving home after a morning photo shoot at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. I looked over to the right side of the road, toward a concrete water tank. A large, quirky-looking bird was pecking at the ground. I stopped, grabbed my camera with the 70-200mm and 1.4x extender attached, carefully got out of the car, and managed to fire off one shot before the bird flew away.

0902_Crested Caracara ORIG

0902-2_Crested Caracara

A check in my Sibley Guide to Birds identified this bird as a Crested Caracara, a falcon that feeds mainly on carrion.  I was subsequently informed by several Facebook friends that it’s seen a lot in Costa Rica, and is also known as the “Mexican Eagle”.

On the July morning of Friday the 13th, 2012, (which has always been a rather fortunate day for me), I drove out to the refuge for some neat  cloud shots.  On my way home, there were two caracaras on the road.

9571_Caracara On The Road

One of them flew onto a fencepost where it posed nicely for me until I started getting a little too close for its comfort level.

9620-3_Caracara 56pct CROP

9685-2_Caracara 42pct

Both birds eventually landed high in some tree branches.

9709_Two Caracara

It was a good morning.

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