15 May, 2012

Island Girl Following the Eastern Foothills of the Sierra Madre

On 12 May, Island Girl had crossed the Isthmus and continued to follow the eastern foothills of the Sierra Madre mountians. She flew another 230 km (143 miles) to the northwest and passed by the city of Tuxtepec and south of the strato-volcano, Orizaba.

The rest of her line is really fascinating. If you examine her map for the day, you can see a series of perfect ridges extending for 70 miles or so from the SE to NW. They are separated from the main foothills by a large lake or reservoir, called Miguel Aleman on the map. This is classic habitat for a hunting peregrine, a large, open body of water with no place to hide.

This type of ridge system is ideal for migrant hawks and begs the question of whether our Mexican colleagues are looking for spring migrant raptors along these ridges.

Not just peregrines but Swainson's Hawks, Turkey Vultures, Broad-winged Hawks, Mississippi Kites and the many other species that pass through here.

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