The Northern Crested Caracara was spotted many times hunting in a field up on Hammer Road (Michael Wigle photo)

Mexican bird makes a rare appearance in Bella Coola

The Northern Crested Caracara was spotted galavanting around Bella Coola for several weeks

It was thousands of miles from it’s home base of the southern United States and Mexico but the Northern Crested Caracara was spotted galavanting around Bella Coola for several weeks earlier this month, delighting local bird watchers who managed to snap dozens of photos of it.

The Crested Caracara looks like a hawk with its sharp beak and talons, behaves like a vulture, and is technically a large tropical black-and-white falcon. It is instantly recognizable standing tall on long yellow-orange legs with a sharp black cap set against a white neck and yellow-orange face.

The Crested Caracara is a bird of open country and reaches only a few states in the southern U.S. It flies low on flat wings, and routinely walks on the ground.

A common subject of folklore and legends throughout Central and South America, the Crested Caracara is sometimes called the “Mexican eagle.” Fittingly, the bird is the national emblem of Mexico.

Crested Caracaras are not shy or reclusive and are generally easy to spot in the open landscapes they inhabit. They frequently perch on the tallest tree or structure around and fly low over the ground with their wings held flat.

The lone Caracara visiting the Valley was spotted hunting several times at Dean Mecham’s field up on Hammer Road. Local birders have stated that there have been several unusual bird sightings this year including the Lazuli Bunting, Western Meadowlark, and an Osprey but nothing as exotic as the Caracara.

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 4: Recap

Results and highlights from day 4 at the 2019 All Native Basketball Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 3: Recap

Highlights from around Day 3 of the tournament

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read