29 October, 2013

Crossing the Equator into the Southern Hemisphere

Island Girl crossed the equator once again, flying a short 102 km (63 miles) for the day. She is continuing along her "normal" route down the Rio Guayas valley towards Guayaquil.

She put in for the night in an area of mixed forest and agricultural land, just 2.5 miles off the main highway (E-25) and very near what looks like a small house or outbuilding. There was a small, marshy lake to her west that looks really intriguing.

She was about 30 miles north of Quevedo, a main town along the highway here. I have driven this road many times in the past en route to Quito from Guayaquil so it seems a bit like home to me.

And, once again, she slept only about 13 miles from her roost site from last year.

I wonder if she "likes" this route? Can a peregrine "like" a migration route? I cannot help but wonder how she experiences all of this. How does she decide which way to go? What was her process for heading out across the Gulf of Mexico? How familiar is her route to her? Does she recognize land marks like we do? If so, what are they? Is it a valley? Or a tree? A lake? Maybe just the flow of the mountains.

Or maybe it is simple instinct each year. How could you determine the answers to such questions?

Maybe we never will, which is part of the wonderful mystery that is a peregrine migration.

What a privilege to see even a small part of it all.

1 comment:

A Gardner said...

Very thought provoking theories. What will we learn from all of this? It will take years to digest. Go "Island Girl", we are all behind you. (where else would we be :)