Red-throated Caracaras: awesome birds that eat wasps

This post is not about spiders (sorry for any disappointment this may cause). Instead, it’s about some amazing (crazy?) neotropical raptors that specialize in preying on the brood of social wasps!

Red-throated Caracaras (Ibycter americanus)

Red-throated Caracaras (Ibycter americanus) in French Guiana. These birds are members of the family Falconidae, and they are specialist predators of social wasps. (photo: Sean McCann)

Getting close enough to a wasp nest to eat its contents is no mean feat–as anyone who has ever been stung by a worker wasp defending its nest can probably attest. I was privileged to be involved in a study of these birds in French Guiana, led by Sean McCann.

Today, Sean and I and all our co-authors got a belated Christmas present with the publication of our paper in PLOS ONE.

Here’s a quick video summary of our research, narrated by me and Sean:

For more information, videos, and photographs, head over to Sean’s blog, Ibycter.

1 thought on “Red-throated Caracaras: awesome birds that eat wasps

  1. Pingback: Heading to Honduras | spiderbytesdotorg

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