Caracaras are in the family Falconidae – birds of prey and subfamily of Polyborinae which include caracaras, forest flacons andLaughing Falcon.

They are in seven genera:
Genus Caracara
Crested or Northern Caracara Caracara cheriway
Southern Caracara Caracara plancus
Genus Daptrius
Black Caracara Daptrius ater
Genus Herpetotheres
Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans
Genus Ibycter
Red-throated Caracara Ibycter americanus
Genus Micrastur
M. ruficollis – Barred Forest-falcon
M. plumbeus – Plumbeous Forest-falcon
M. gilvicollis – Lined Forest-falcon
M. mintoni – Cryptic Forest-falcon
M. mirandollei – Slaty-backed Forest-falcon
M. semitorquatus – Collared Forest-falcon
M. buckleyi – Buckley's Forest-falcon
Genus Milvago
M. chimachima Yellow-headed Caracara
M. chimango Chimango Caracara
Genus Phalcoboenus
P. albogularis – White-throated Caracara
P. australis Striated Caracara
P. carunculatus – Carunculated Caracara
P. megalopterus – Mountain Caracara