04 June, 2013

Island Girl Completes Her Migration

Yesterday, 3 June 2013, Island Girl completed her northbound fifth migration with a GPS satellite transmitter. Once again she successfully returned to her usual nest cliff on a large lake on southwestern Baffin Island at 64 degrees north latitude.

I imagine her male was already there as they generally arrive prior to the females. There must have been quite a greeting between the two when she arrived.

Team member Kathryn Gunther, originally caught Island Girl in adult plumage in 2008 at Putu in Chile. At that time, this peregrine had most likely already made at least one round trip to Chile and back in her juvenile year.

Remarkably,  we did not tag her at the time (2008) as we thought she might be a local resident cassini  peregrine. She was definitely not what you would expect a tundra peregrine to look like. Very black cap (not gray), lots of rufous in the breast (not pure white) and a black back (not pale gray). So we reluctantly let her go that year!

My call...oh well.

However, the next year (2009) Kathy caught Island Girl a second time and we decided to go ahead and tag her just in case.

Good thing we did.

So Island Girl is a minimum of 7 years old. She could be older but there is no way to tell their exact age once they reach adult plumage.

Here is what Don wrote for today:

"By  5pm (local time) yesterday, Island Girl had completed the last leg of her northern migration and returned to her usual spot on Baffin Island.  She needed to fly only 108 km (67 mi) from her previous night's roost on Baffin Island's Foxe Peninsula.
So, her 2013 northern migration has now been completed.   Final statistics: 14,271 km (8,868 mi) in 48 days. 

[Bud adds that is an average of 297 km or 184.75 miles per day]
I will continue to update the maps about once each week while she's on her northern range, but won't be sending out any more updates until she heads south again (assuming her transmitter is still going strong).  In the previous four years she has begun her southern migration between September 20th and 24th.
Till then..."

I'd like to acknowledge and thank Don McCall for all of his help again this season. Deeply appreciated by many.

And although Mark Prostor has moved on, he helped us set this all up many years ago. Thanks again Mark.

And thanks to Mr. Walser and my son, Beau's, seventh grade science class at La Venture Middle School in Mt. Vernon. Nice to visit you all the other day.

Our future plans?

We will keep on following this falcon as long as her transmitter continues to function. 

In addition, we are currently checking into the routes and costs of visiting her eyrie on Baffin Island this summer to see if it is possible.

Seems like we should do that.

In the meantime, thank you all for following yet another season of Island Girls migration. I appreciated your comments and hope to be writing to you again this fall.

Bud Anderson

PS Check this site in August too. If we get to her eyrie, we'll post the results of that trip too.


Pacho said...

I'm so happy that she made it safely home.
I want to thank all who made this project possible, and I look forward to seeing her in her eyrie next August.
Thank you.

Sue Cottrell said...

Baffin Island Or Bust!

Robin said...

Having followed this amazing bird for 4 years now I am still astonished and amazed by the journey she undertakes each year [as presumably does her mate as well]. Bon voyage and happy hunting.