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The Falkland Islands ‘Flying Devils’ Terrorize A National Geographic Film Crew

It almost looks as if the crew of National Geographic bit off more than they could chew. A bird called the Johnny Rook gets right ‘in your face.’ Known as the Falkland Island’s ‘flying devils’ — these clever animals band together in their youth to terrorize creatures great and small. From what I can see, these birds act like a bunch of spoiled toddlers and create havoc wherever they go.

The population in the Falklands is estimated at 500 breeding pairs. Juveniles and indeed, adults, are almost entirely fearless of humans and treat their approach with indifference. Over time, conflict with the sheep farmers has led to a great reduction in their numbers. This is now being corrected by the Falkland Islanders.

The striated caracara is primarily a scavenger, feeding on carrion, mainly dead seabirds and dead sheep, offal and food scraps. It occasionally takes insects and earthworms that it digs up with its claws. However it will also prey on weak or injured creatures, such as young seabirds. Its habit of attacking newborn lambs and weakened sheep has led it to be ruthlessly persecuted by sheep farmers.
 
Often it is known to steal red objects such as clothing or handkerchiefs, possibly because red is the color of meat. Like all falconiformes it has excellent color vision which easily surpasses that of any known mammal. Often it will also raid dustbins and move rocks to get food from underneath, thus proving themselves to be one of the most intelligent of the birds of prey and have earned the name- ‘flying devils’.

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