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The Mood Ring Of Birds: Watch A Crested Caracara’s Face Change Color!

A bird with an orange colored face looking to the side.

Have you ever heard of a bird changing color according to their mood? Meet the crested caracara, a feathered creature who literally wears their emotions on their face! The Center for Birds of Prey recently shared a fascinating video about this animal’s unique form of communication. Footage shows the bird’s face switching from orange to yellow!

It’s the animals skin, not their feathers, that transitions through different hues. The crested caracara has a patch of bare skin on their face called an apteria, and that’s where we observe the various shades of yellow and orange. According to Steven, a representative from the Center for Birds of Prey, experts still aren’t sure what each tone represents. However, they are certain that the bird’s face changes color in accordance with their feelings.


Did you see the color change? The handsome Crested Caracara displays a variety of facial colors intended to signify mood, level of contentment and maturity. 🧡💛 Did you notice the variation in face color from a yellow hue to a darker orange? Watch again to see the difference. #crestedcaracara #centerforbirdsofprey #birdsofprey #aviary #fyp

♬ original sound – Center for Birds of Prey

“There’s still a lot of research to be done on what that color indicates,” said Steven. “We can’t think like a caracara, but we can watch them and see.”

In addition to changing color, these birds also speak with each other in more traditional ways, such as vocally.

A bird with an orange colored face looking to the side.
Screengrab from TikTok

Perhaps someday we’ll be able to decode the crested caracara’s unique communication system. In the meantime, we can appreciate these beautiful birds and their amazing ability to change the color of their faces!

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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