from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- (Zoöl.) A south American carrion buzzard (
Milvago chimango). See caracara.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun Milvago chimango, a
South American bird of preyrelated to the falcon.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Eagles and vultures are somewhat unworthily represented by carrion-hawks (Polyborinae); the lordly carancho, almost eagle-like in size, black and crested, with a very large, pale blue, hooked beak -- his battle axe: and his humble follower and jackal, the brown and harrier-like chimango.
The marauder driven off, he would return to the tree to utter his triumphant rattling castanet - like notes and (no doubt) to receive the congratulations of his mate; then to settle down again to watch the sky for the appearance of the next _chimango_.
The scissor-tail is one of the most courageous of that hawk-hating, violent-tempered tyrant-bird family, and every time a _chimango_ appeared, which was about forty times a day, he would sally out to attack him in mid-air with amazing fury.
On the other hand, I have frequently mistaken a harrier (Circus cinereus, in the brown state of plumage) for a chimango, and have only discovered my mistake by seeing the commotion among the small birds.
On the pampas the appearance of the comparatively harmless chimango excites not the least alarm among small birds, yet at a distance it closely resembles a henharrier, and it also readily attacks young, sick, and wounded birds; all others know how little they have to fear from it.
The chimango is tame and fearless; and when an animal is killed a number soon collect, and patiently wait, standing on the ground on all sides.
It also attends the estancias and slaughtering-houses, accompanied by its smaller relative, the chimango.
The caracaras are crafty, and steal numbers of eggs; they also attempt, together with the chimango, to pick off the scabs from the sore backs of horses and mules.
When the caracara is quietly seated on the branch of a tree or on the ground, the chimango often continues for a long time flying backwards and forwards, up and down, in a semicircle, trying each time at the bottom of the curve to strike its larger relative.
Some raptors never attack birds, others only occasionally; still others prey only on the young and feeble; and, speaking of La Plata district, where I have observed hawks, from the milvago chimango -- chiefly a carrion-eater -- to the destructive peregrine falcon, there is a very great variety of predatory habits, and all degrees of courage to be found; yet all these raptors are treated differently by species liable to be preyed on, and have just as much respect paid them as their strength and daring entitles them to, and no more, So much discrimination must seem almost incredible to those who are not very familiar with the manners of wild birds; I do not think it could exist if the fear shown resulted from instinct or inherited habit.