03 November, 2013

Turning the Corner Into Peru

On Friday, Island Girl resumed her migration in earnest once again, leaving Ecuador behind her.

She crossed the border into Peru and cut SE to follow the foothills of the Andes, a good choice for avoiding the coastal thorn forest deserts of Piura. She followed the greener route inland as she usually does.

When we drove through Piura two years ago, we understood why. This is a very dry, hot region covered with a low, scrub vegetation inhospitable to migrant peregrines. The cooler foothills are a much more preferable route in both the spring and fall.

She flew 354 km (220 miles) for the day following the foothill route before putting in for the night in the classic desert roosting situation.

She slept on a steep, rocky mountainside at 1,786', situated as usual between two river drainages coming down from the Andes. The Rio Chancay was to her south.

Remember that all of these drainages are used for agricultural purposes by the Peruvians who grow corn, cotton and a variety of other crops, so they are heavily irrigated. Water and food attract birds and the valleys are loaded with a multitude of birds, particularly pigeons and doves.

Five miles west of her roost is the Reservorio De Tinajones, a large artificial lake that will support even more birdlife. So she picked a good location to hunt after her long day of migration.

She has now turned the geographic corner at the NW shoulder of South America. She'll be moving SE now until she reaches Chile and the next bend.

I would expect her to start turning on some speed now...

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