03 May, 2013

Thursday in Ecuador

Island Girl is taking her time through the tropical interior lowland of Ecuador. Yesterday she flew 167 km (105 miles) north, bypassing the city  of Guayaquil and proceeding up the flatlands of the Guayas River valley. She is following her traditional route in general, crossing the Ecuadoran lowlands far from the Pacific coastline.

She roosted in a tree in a woodlot  at only 35' elevation so she is still pretty low. The site is surrounded by flat agricultural fields and not far from a ranch house.

She was at minus 1.7 degrees south latitude so she should be crossing the equator into the northern hemisphere as I am writing this blog.

It took her only 15 days to get here from her southern home in Chile approximately 4,170 km (2,591 miles) to the south, an average of 278 km (172 miles) per day and, again, with no real stops along the way other than roosting at night. Keep in mind that she has actually flown much farther when you include hunting flights, circling high among the clouds and generally scoping things out.

So far, I am most impressed with how similar her route is this year to other migrations. Sort of a (pardon the term) generic migration. No sojourn in the Andes this year. Fairly consistent flight up the Andean foothill route. Usual route through Ecuador.

Has she figured out the most efficient route over the years? Do peregrine migration routes become more uniform with increased experience of the adults?

So much still to learn...

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