The Yellow-headed Caracara is found in tropical and subtropical South America and the southern portion of Central America. Unlike the Falco falcons in the same family, the caracaras are not fast-flying aerial hunters, but are rather sluggish and often scavengers.
The Yellow-headed Caracara is 41–46 cm long and weighs 325 g on average, the female slightly larger.
This is a bird of savannah, swamps and forest edges, and is common in these types of habitat. The Yellow-headed Caracara is omnivorous, and will eat reptiles, amphibians and other small animals as well as carrion. It lays from five to seven brown-marked buff eggs in a stick nest in a tree.