Species: Caracara cheriway, Crested Caracara   •   Born: Unknown    •  Died: December 2017 • Gender: Female   •   Disability: Injured Right Wing

‘Bonita’ was found in Florida after being shot in the right wing. She could no longer fly. When Bonita came to the American Eagle Foundation in 1994, she was already full grown, so we do not know her exact age. Bonita was one of the stars of the AEF‘s ‘Wings of America’ birds-of-prey show at Dollywood.

Bonita passed away in December 2017 from old age.  She is deeply missed by all her caregivers.


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.