28 September, 2013

Roosting on the Mississippi River

Island Girl continued through Wisconsin on Thursday (likely flying right over Madison) and flew only 169 km (105 miles) for the day. However, she is now on a strong SW heading, following the classic central flyway route like last year. So at this point, it looks like she will go the Gulf route instead of Florida as she has done before.

One of the many nice things we have learned from Island Girl is that it is not at all unusual for a migrant peregrine to vary the southbound leg of her route quite a bit from year to year.

She arrived at the Mississippi River and the signal shows that she perched on an 800' high bluff overlooking the river just south of the town of Bellevue. I would imagine this bluff provided an excellent hunting perch. Perhaps she killed prey there.

There are several Google Earth pictures of the habitat, including one that appears to be the island that she roosted on for the night.

Her roosting signal indicates that she slept on a forested island (Island Number 249-I did not know they numbered them) near or perhaps even over the water.

I called Gregg Doney of the Padre Island Peregrine Survey team to let them know that it looks like she may be heading their way. They are already out on the island and report wet conditions.

1 comment:

Dan Brekke said...

One observation: The bluffs along the Mississippi are striking, but not quite that high. The top of the bluff may be 800 feet above sea level, but it's probably no more than 150-200 feet above the surface of the river. (And for clarity's sake, we're talking about Bellevue, Iowa, I believe, just south of Dubuque, right?)

Thanks for this site, by the way--it's one of my favorites anywhere.