01 June, 2013

Nearing Hudson Bay

On Thursday, Island Girl continued to fly NNE towards her home ground on Baffin. She passed by Churchill, although not very close, and followed the western margin of the Bay. She covered 211 km (133 miles) for the day, so she was taking her time while crossing the tundra.

She roosted at only 200' elevation in an area of extensive ponds and streams. The GE image is a bit confusing here. Are those stippled surfaces meant to represent vegetation or water? I can't be sure so I don't know if she slept on the ground or in some low vegetation.

She was about 23 km (17 miles) west of the shoreline of the Bay so it is likely that she saw it and knows it is there.

Now we'll see if she decides to cross what seems to present the imposing frozen 500 mile barrier of Hudson Bay. She has done it before and keep in mind that she will not be the only bird doing so. I expect that there are quite a few eligible and edible migrant passerines, shorebirds and waterfowl also crossing the ice en route to the north along with her.

A frozen Hudson Bay will likely present a surprisingly ideal place to hunt.

If there is prey out there, it cannot escape her hunts easily as there will be few places to hide on the open ice.

It is well known that peregrines prefer to hunt their prey well out in the open, whether that might be large stretches of water, flat stretches of desert with little vegetation, high above in the vast gulfs of the atmosphere or any other place that lacks cover.

Like 500 miles of ice.

 These conditions put migrant peregrines at a great advantage and maximizes their incredible flying skills..

Incidentally, this was her 44th day of migration this season.

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