28 October, 2012

Approaching the Southern Hemisphere

On Saturday, Island Girl continued to follow a route through the foothills of the Andes instead of taking her usual coastal path. It seems as though every year, she varies her route a bit.

To me, the advantage of this type of behavior is to learn her entire route more completely, developing a familiarity with the entire migration corridor, living under the differing climatic conditions, checking out different prey and ways of catching it and just constantly learning more. Sort of like expanding her resume. The outcome is that she is a better predator and hopefully is developing greater skills to enhance her survival on such a long and vast migration.

So yesterday, she flew 307 km (191 miles) for the day and may be picking up a bit of speed now.

Last night, she roosted again in the higher tropical forest at about 1,657', once again very near (almost right above) another major road, Highway 10, leading down to the coastal town of Tumaco.

She slept at about 1+ degree north latitude, so she is approaching the equator, probably right about now as I am writing this.

She was only 25 km (15 miles) from the Ecuadoran border and 160 km (100 miles) from the equator.

Looks like we will be passing her off to our next colleague in Ecuador, peregrine expert Nancy Hilgert de Benavides.

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