Eyes bigger than your Stomach?

This Yellow-headed Caracara may look like it has bitten off more than it can chew – and although some smaller rodents may be on its menu, this 50kg Capybara barely noticed the bird landing on its back.  These falcons are known for taking ticks and parasites from large mammals including cattle and three-toed sloths and are known as ‘tickbirds’ in some parts of South America.  Although this is a mutualism which benefits both the bird and the mammal, Caracaras have also been observed ‘cheating’, which is when they take flesh or drink blood from a wound on the host animal – directly feeding from its host.  This bird was observed eating invertebrates from the Capybaras back whilst it grazed obliviously in Gamboa, Panama.

Photo of Yellow-headed caracara and Capybara on Birding tour in Gamboa Panama

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