Species: Caracara cheriway, Crested Caracara   •   Born: Unknown    •   Gender: Female   •   Disability: Injured Right Wing

‘Bonita’ was found in Florida after being shot in the right wing. She can no longer fly. When Bonita came to the American Eagle Foundation in 1997, she was already full grown, so we do not know her exact age. Bonita is now one of the stars of the AEF‘s ‘Wings of America’ birds-of-prey show at Dollywood.


The Crested Caracara is a member of the falcon family. As opportunistic feeders, they spend most of their time flipping over rocks, logs, and bark for grubs, slugs, insects, amphibians, and other reptiles. They’ll also eat rodents and even patrol roadways or follow turkey vultures to find carrion.

Crested Caracaras are found in southern Florida, Arizona, Texas, as well as South and Central America. They are the national bird of Mexico! Sometimes called the Mexican Buzzard or the Mexican Eagle.