Large, long-legged raptor of open habitats. Often walks on the ground or perches conspicuously on a fence post or telephone pole. Note dark cap, pale neck, and dark body. Face color varies from orange-red to pale pink, contrasting with pale grayish bill. In flight, look for conspicuous white flashes in wings and tail. Feeds mainly on lizards and snakes. Widespread from the southern U.S. to the southern tip of South America, typically in open fields, deserts, or beaches. Formerly considered two species, Crested and Southern Caracara.