23 April, 2010

Wednesday-Island Girl Crosses Into Peru

Island Girl left Chile on Wednesday and flew into the Peruvian desert, probably near the border town of Tacna.

At this point the Pacific coastline of South America curves heavily to the northwest. To follow the classic coastal route, a migrant peregrine also has to change its heading to the northwest.

We have seen different falcons do different things at this juncture. Some stay near the water, others head inland and upwards.

Island Girl decided to go inland and follow the high Andes for awhile. We don't know if this is related to food in the highlands, a navigation/heading issue or something entirely different. But it always seems to happen in about the same place.

She flew 325 km (202 miles) for the day and passed close (within about 25 km) to the city of Arequipa and overflying the incredible Rio Tambo valley.

Her roost site was pretty interesting and sort of puzzling.

The signal suggests that she may have slept on the bottom of a dry river bed in a desert canyon about 2,108 meters (6,917') in elevation. However, we also know that the GPS data can be up to 20 meters off in either direction.

There appears to be a small cliff to the south of the location, right above the dry river bed. Perhaps she slept there.

She was about 56 km (45 miles) NE of the coast and the town of Mollendo.

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