16 May, 2010

Island Girl Crosses Texas and Arrives in New Mexico

On Saturday, Island Girl flew across west Texas and entered into New Mexico. She flew 370 km (230 miles) for the day and kept to her NW bearing. She has maintained this same general heading since leaving the Isthmus of Tehuantepec several days ago. The consistency on this leg of her journey is remarkable.

She ended her day on Saturday by rooting in the Seven Rivers Hills in southeastern New Mexico, only 26 km (16 miles) WNW of the city of Carlsbad. This is also near both Carlsbad Caverns National Park and the Guadelupe Mountains National Park. You can see the terrain in this area displayed in photographs on GE.

She slept on a short cliff face above a dry arroyo at 3,877 '. Definite desert with sparse vegetation and open ground. There area is honeycombed with a road system interspersed with somewhat circular clearings. I am assuming these are oil wells.

Last night, Island Girl was located at 104 degrees west longitude in New Mexico. In 2009, she apparently nested on Baffin Island at approximately 68 degrees west longitude, a difference of 36 degrees. If she is going to return to the same area to breed, as peregrines as known to do, she will have to start veering to the east soon.

If not, she will also be entering into the heart of the Rockies and leaving the open ground of the Great Plains. I'd bet on a course change towards Denver soon.

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