This is not an injured Caracara, but one that takes hygiene very seriously.
Yes, indeed. This Black Caracara was seen sand bathing (also known as dust bathing). I have seen several times that birds like to take a sand bath from time to time. Usually during a sunny day and when the ground is a little dusty too.
I met a small group of Little Chachalaca's sand bathing in our garden. Sand bathing is done to keep the feathers in excellent condition.
This Chachalaca was even 'digging' deep, just to make sure that every piece of its body was covered in the dust. It wanted to make sure that all its feathers were cleaned thoroughly.
When there is no water, the birds will do with just sand or dust. This Black Caracara even made the airstrip into its private bath. It started to scrape so it would be covered with loose sand.
Sand bathing is a normal behavior amongst the birds (and mammals). This is a perfect and easy way to clean their feathers and in some cases even make sure that the dust can remove parasites.
Taking care of their feathers means taking care of themselves. Birds rely heavily on their feathers to move from one place to the other in no time.
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