Friday, March 12, 2010

National bird of Mexico - Friday's fascinations, facts and folklore

I'm sure everyone reading this knows what the national bird of the USA is - even if you don't live in the USA.....but how many of you know the national bird of Mexico???

No - I didn't either, until I looked it up.  As I am visiting Mexico this week, I thought I'd check into what birds I might see.  The national bird is the Crested Caracara and is used as their emblem. 

Photo by catmca
You can also see them in Florida, Texas and Arizona in the US, and then south into central and south America.

It is often known as the Mexican Eagle and is in fact a falcon that eats more like a vulture! They catch most of their prey by walking around fields and shallow wetlands, but sometimes they watch for prey from fence posts and trees and look for dead animals along roads.  They eat mostly grasshoppers and beetles, but other animals too, and eggs, fruit and seeds.   

A couple of interesting facts: Like vultures, they don't have feathers on their face as they would get matted and stuck with blood etc when they ate roadkill! 

Photo by Leppyone
You can see their crops showing in this photo

And my friend Colin just commented on Tuesday's post letting me know that the phrase being "fed up" with something originally was a falconry term.  If you gave your falcon too much food, it wouldn't need to fly and catch something for you, so it didn't bother.  It was fed up!  (Thanks Caulie!)

So do you know the national bird for any other countries?  What about:
  • United Kingdom?
  • Canada?
  • Germany?

Please send your answers written with a feather, on a bit of roadkill - oh and mail it  to my Mexico address!


My Computer Tutor said...

No...didn't know the caracara was Mexico's national bird. They are a family of their own, like falcons (dark eyes) but, unlike falcons, caracaras build nests.

That's enough geeky-birdie stuff...have a great trip to Mexico!

Robert said...

Extremely fascinating. I'm relatively new to birding and have much to learn.