Published 11:45 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Over the last few years I have been contacted by several readers who saw a large bird here in Southeast Texas that looked “sort of” like a bald eagle but was different. On every occasion the bird turned out to be the caracara, pictured here. Reader Greg Jackson captured this photo of a beautiful specimen near the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.

Until probably 10 years ago they were relegated mainly to south of Houston but now they are a fairly common site around Anahuac, Winnie and the outskirts of Beaumont. I even saw one in Orange County last year.

These birds scavenge and are occasionally found eating roadkill, an act not exactly befitting their rugged beauty but nonetheless important in nature.

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(To submit photos to the Critter Cam project, email them to Put “Critter Cam” in the subject line.)