06 October, 2012

Approaching the Gulf of Mexico

Sorry for the late post but I was waiting to have a precise location for her roost for Thursday night.

As of 0800 today (6 October), we only have the coordinates for her late afternoon perch for Thursday. But this may or may not have been her actual roost site for the night. We'll know soon.

Based on what we do have so far, Island Girl left Tennessee and flew 298 km (185 miles) south into the state of Mississippi. She is now about 200 miles north of the Gulf.

She has been following what is known as the central flyway, one of the major routes for North American birds moving south. For the last several days, she was within sight (from the air) of the Mississippi River and is moving with some vast flocks of migrants, much like wolves follow caribou herds.

This phenomenon has no doubt shaped peregrine migration on our continent for millennia. The presence of huge numbers of available prey moving with her in in close proximity provides a definite advantage for feeding and fueling her migration to Chile. Contrast these conditions to the Atacama Desert which comes later.

Our last signal clearly shows her on yet another cell tower, this time located above the town of Yazoo City, Mississippi. She was about 40 miles east of the river.

Google Earth shows the tower quite well.

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