Northern Crested Cara Cara
Image credit to Shadow Hunter from Flickr / Wikipedia.
Saw one of these picking at roadkill as I drove by, and got a look and said “what the heck is that thing.” I remembered enough details to ID it as the Northern Crested Cara Cara. Which strangely enough is a falcon.
The behaviors of caracaras are considered quite strange in relation to other falcons. The bird is often seen walking on the ground in search of prey, using its long legs to maneuver its landscapes. In addition to a preference of walking over flying, the birds also create close bonds with their mates. Caracaras are territorial creatures who are year-round landlords of trees and land that they occupy. Their aggressiveness is an extension of this which why they have been seen taking food from much larger creatures like vultures. In flight, this bird is known for having very direct flight. It does not soar for leisure