from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several large carrion-eating or predatory birds in the family Falconidae, native to South and Central America and the southern United States.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of several South American and Central American birds of prey in the family Falconidae.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of various long-legged carrion-eating hawks of South America and Central America


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Spanish and Portuguese caracará, both from Tupí caracara.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Spanish or Portuguese, from Tupian, probably imitative.



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  • "'I have seen a little flock of white-winged finches and a bird I took to be a mountain caracara.'"

    --P. O'Brian, The Wine-Dark Sea, 210

    March 16, 2008

  • "Hawks and larks dart past tamaracks, as jackdaws and mallards flap past catalpas and land athwart a larch (sparhawks and caracaras scrawk at blackcaps and avadavats)."

    Eunoia by Christian Bök (upgraded edition), p 27

    May 20, 2010