Island Girl left Colombia yesterday and flew across the Pacific Ocean, traversing the Gulf of Panama and the Pearl Islands as she has done before. She seems to like this pelagic shortcut.
She reached land somewhere near the airport and Panama City and then continued nearly all the way across the Panamanian Isthmus, touching down to sleep on a forested ridge in the interior. She roosted about 8 miles south of the shores of the Caribbean Sea and only about six miles east of Lake Gatun.
For those of you who have been to the Canal, she was 13 miles east of the Gatun Locks.
Her flight path generally put her on the required northwest curve to handle the jump towards Costa Rica, although she will have to detour to the SW as always and then swing around towards Boca Del Toros and the next border. She has often paused in this region in the past.
This is one very experienced adult peregrine.
If we can count her first year (for which we have no data), she has traversed Panama at least nine times in her life. Perhaps more.
This bird is a living archive of experience. She possesses the hard-won culture of these ancient, aerial pathways that span the earth. Long before there were Americans and Chileans and Peruvians, before there were Incas and Mayas and Toltecs, even before Homo sapiens set foot on these continents, her ancestors were winging their way across an untouched wilderness that we cannot even imagine.
And until now, the journey was completely unknown, except to their own kind.