Cartwheeling flight is a behavior that involves aerial locking of talons by raptors followed by a descending mutual rotation around a central axis, like a cartwheel. We provide information on 32 recorded cartwheeling events from south-central Chile involving 12 raptor species; 26 were by dyads of the same species, of which 61.5% were associated with aggressive events. Only one case was considered a courtship behavior and two as play. Milvago chimango was the most frequently involved in intraspecific cartwheeling (38.5%), whereas Geranoaetus polyosoma had the highest frequency of allospecific encounters (67%). This is the first account on the occurrence of cartwheeling flights in South American raptors, and we suspect that this behavior is more prevalent than has been reported previously.
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Vol. 127 • No. 2