#DErare – Crested Caracara

A Crested Caracara, which will be a first state record for Delaware pending acceptance by the Delaware Records Committee, was found this morning in Millville, Delaware by Sharon Lynn. The bird was first spotted along White Necks Rd. next to the Bay Forest community.

Crested Caracara in Millville, Delaware on 8 March 2013. Photo by Sharon Lynn.

At least a few birders have seen this bird since it was first reported around 09:30 this morning. It seems that if you find a carcass in the general vicinity of the Bay Forest community and White Necks Rd. (another map here) you have a good shot of seeing the bird. The bird was also seen on Old Mill Rd. and Irons Lane in Millville, Delaware.

Crested Caracara in Millville, Delaware on 8 March 2013. Photo by Sharon Lynn.

There have been numerous sightings of Crested Caracara(s) throughout southern New Jersey since last fall and continued through February of this year. The most recent sighting was on 25 February 2013 in Salem County. Although this could potentially be the same bird, a local that lives near the Delaware sighting said the bird has been there since before hunting season, which would make it a completely different bird than the New Jersey individual.

Here are the eBird records from February and March of Crested Caracaras in New Jersey and Delaware, with the most recent being in southern Delaware. The Egg Harbor sightings are from around 10 February 2013.

Crested Caracaras breed in Florida, south Texas, and south-central Arizona. I would think (don’t hold me to this), that these vagrants are either from Florida or Texas.