If you are following the wanderings of our little male peregrine among the southern highlands of Peru like we are, you are probably wondering exactly what he is doing hanging around up there at 14,000' for a week instead of streaking for home as expected.
Frankly, I have no idea.
This is an entirely new behavior that we are all witnessing. We have never seen this type of thing before with any of our other tagged birds.
We do know this. He appears to be fine as he continues to move about in the altiplano. He flew 39 miles SW yesterday and is now west of Arequipa. But he still roosted above 14,000' last night and showed no indication of coming down in elevation.
Our wonderful guide, Luis, who lives in Cuzco in the highlands, was telling us that this year, the rains were delayed. They have extended into April, which seldom, if ever, happens. He stressed that this is extremely unusual for them. Roads are closed, bridges are washed out and mudslides are taking place.
We have seen massive walls of huge cumulus clouds in the highlands from all the way down here on the coast.
We also see evidence of the rains in all of the rivers we cross. Most are running at high levels.
Perhaps significantly, I noticed that Island Girl did not go up into the mountains this year as she usually does. Did she know something?
Anyway, as many of you already know, Felipes behavior is generally called "staging". A migrant bird stops for awhile, for whatever reason. Generally it is thought to be for resting or feeding to "re-fuel". After awhile, the bird continues to migrate.
So, here we have another mystery. Let's see what happens next.
And I have to say, isn't this wonderful?