12 October, 2012

Taking the Tehuantepec Route Once More

Island Girl took it easy on Thursday after her Gulf crossing. She flew SE for 162 km (100 miles), crossing the low coastal plain of Mexico and heading up into the mountains to an area where she has roosted before.

She is taking the classic raptor migration route across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, as are many hundreds of thousands of  Turkey Vultures, Broad-winged Hawks and Swainson's Hawks at this time of year. The raptor migration in Mexico is the largest in the world with over 4 million birds passing through annually.

In a day or two she is likely to reach the Pacific Ocean and follow it all the way to Chile.

She slept on a 2,100' ridge in the tropical forest of southern Mexico and about 400 yards from a mountain river. Really different from a ship in the Gulf.

Three miles SW of her position is the El Chichonal ("the Bump") volcano, a classic cone with a lake contained within the crater. Although it looks beautiful on Google Earth, this volcano erupted in 1982 and killed about 2,000 people. The lake is highly acidic.

This is a reminder that Island Girl is entering the Pacific Ring of Fire, a series of volcanoes that she will follow all the way from the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico to the Andes of South America.

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