25 May, 2013

Island Girl Sets a Seasonal Record...Approaches Canada

Don McCall shares this post....

"Island Girl's overnight GPS signal is missing, possibly due to a partly discharged battery or not being in line-of-sight with an Argos satellite.  

On the map I substituted a Qual-1 Doppler fix from around the same time, so we still know her overnight roosting location.  

Her total distance for the day, as she passed through all of South Dakota and most of North Dakota, was 683 km (424 mi).  

She spent the night just 34 km (21 mi) from the Canadian border of Saskatchewan, in an area of North Dakota that is absolutely littered with small lakes and ponds.  

She was also within 100 km (62 mi) of the Montana border, which I had mistakenly thought was her westernmost-point ever, but in 2010 she actually passed through eastern Montana; that was the year that she flew around the northern end of Hudson Bay instead of crossing it farther to the south."

I would add that this was her longest single day flight distance for the entire northbound migration. She is really putting on the speed now.

Looks like she slept in a small grove of trees in some of the most pond-rich prairie habitat I have ever seen on a map. 

Her roosting elevation was 2,448'.

I cannot imagine the huge numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds that must be breeding here now. So there is certainly no lack of food for her here. And she will be trying to fatten up for the egg-laying coming up. Good nutrition, good weight.

There are several National Wildlife Refuges in this region.

She should be sleeping in Canada tonight.....


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