01 May, 2014

Island Girl Arrives in Ecuador

On Wednesday, she flew another 184 km (114 miles) crossing the border into Ecuador once again during her life. She had continued to fly along the front range foothills of the Andes before arriving at the hot and humid coastal terrace near Machala. Her route sort of "necks down" here geographically.

She slept in dense forest at only 124' elevation and just 4.9 km (3 miles) from the main Pan-Am Highway, Ecuador Route 25.

She was 169 km (105 miles) south of her position on this day last spring in 2013.

Island Girl is now going through a major change in humidity, temperature, vegetation, habitat and available prey species. This is a major shift for her. So much becomes different here.

But this is where peregrines are so remarkable.

To me, tundra breeding peregrines are one of the most adaptable birds of prey on earth. They can exist in such a bewildering array of conditions and survive well.

This is why, in my opinion, these "deep" peregrines, those that travel so very far and under so many environmental variables, deserve such respect. They are supremely adaptable. They are extraordinarily skilled at what they do. And they do it again and again throughout their lives.

For example, over all of these migrations, how many times has Island Girl captured prey successfully? Thousands, of course, and she is still doing that every day of her life, even now, while covering over a hundred miles and more every day.

Peregrines are not just beautiful to look at, they are supremely accomplished in what they do over all of their years.

And, remember, Island Girl is just one of many tundra peregrines flying through Ecuador right now.

For me, this living repository of experience, wisdom and knowledge that is a peregrine makes a Van Gogh, Picasso or Matisse pale in comparison.


Jeannie Bird said...

Oh your words are so beautiful. Island Girl is above all. Brings a tear to my eye - she is in my heart daily, wondering where her next roost will be. Enjoying Google Earth exploring the lands she is covering. Would love to fly to my beloved CR (10x's already there), just to be close to her in Limon! In the meantime, I am enjoying watching our Spring migrants here in Quebec, Canada. Wonderful work you are doing, bravo to all!

Anonymous said...

I love these posts, read them all, and send them to friends. I am humbled at Island Girl's resourcefulness, persistence, and drive. Thank you for bringing this wonder into our lives and reminding us of it in ways we would have no way of knowing about were it not for your maps and blog.