03 June, 2010

Island Girl Reaches Baffin Island

On Tuesday, Island Girl really demonstrated her determination to get back home as she made up for lost time due to weather last week. She had a spectacular day!

She changed her heading hard to the east and flew 678 km (421 miles) in a day, the second longest distance on her 2010 northbound migration.

She flew across all of Southampton Island, crossed Foxe Channel (the northern outlet of Hudson Bay) and roosted on the southwestern corner of Baffin Island.

Don McCall writes that she was just 100 km west of last year's presumed breeding site and "....she certainly had no trouble finding Baffin Island even though she approached from an entirely different direction-obviously wasn't using just landmarks. Really amazing...".

So she is determined to get home in time to breed.

She roosted on Tuesday night near the seacoast at about 264' elevation.

Don adds this important information.

"To see exactly where she spent most of last summer, select 'Northern Home Range Maps' for 2009 on the website; the Northern Migration maps terminate at her northernmost point on Baffin Island, but she then returned to a particular location on southern Baffin Island (where she probably had a nest site) for several months, and those points are shown on the 'home range' maps rather than the 'migration' maps."

She definitely wandered about Baffin last year before settling in.

She may have been a "floater" that finally found a mate and a vacant site for the first time in 2009. So it will be most interesting to see if she returns to the exact same location today and stays there for the rest of the season. Without the wandering.....

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