18 April, 2013

Island Girl Heading North for the Fifth Year

Island Girl departed from the Putu area of south-central Chile yesterday sometime between 11:34 and 3:06 PM local time.

She spent 153 days (15 November-17 April) enjoying the summer at her southern range in Chile. This is substantially less than half the year (182.5 days). Five months in Chile, two months migrating north, two months migrating south so roughly three months in the arctic.

This will be her fifth documented migration north as an adult. She will presumably return to her nesting area on Baffin Island in Canada if all goes well.

Don McCall reports that her batteries are charged and looking good.

She covered 191 km (119 miles) on her first day out and traveled up the coastal route as usual.

She roosted on a dry, north facing ridge (1,578') in the coast range. She slept nearly due west of Santiago but south of Valparaiso. The site was located 30 km (18 miles) inland from the ocean and not far from the town of Casablanca.

This hillside looks pretty dry and open but with a number of good-sized trees scattered across the slope.

It is remarkable to all of us that are/were involved in this study that her transmitter is still functioning so well. Early on in the study, we had several others that failed just a year out. So we are all delighted that this one is still working.

 I am not positive about this but we think that this might be a record for an arctic peregrine.

Finally, thank you once again to all of the FRG members that funded this project initially. Island Girl has exceeded our greatest expectations.

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