Island Girl really turned on the speed on Saturday.
She left Panama following the Caribbean route, crossed into Costa Rica near Kekoldi (as usual), flew past her favorite haunts in Limon, headed overland, flew across the rest of Costa Rica and then migrated halfway across Nicaragua, all in a single day.
She flew 598 km (372 miles) for the day, flying past all of Lake Nicaragua before putting in for the night east of the capitol city of Managua.
I just checked the data and this is her longest daily flight so far this season. She just burned up the sky, perhaps feeling the pull of home right now.
How does she experience this draw north? Is there a feeling in her or is it a simple instinct? Can she feel what we would call anticipation? Does she remember her breeding range? Her mate? The urge to breed again?
Does she know that she has to fly north at this specific time to raise young or is this just a perfect instinct, unencumbered by such sensations and honed by uncounted generations of her ancestors doing the same thing over thousands of years?
We don't know and probably can't know the answers to these questions but I often think about her, perched for the night in a tree somewhere, perhaps under the stars, and wonder what it must be like in her consciousness, gazing up at the sky and listening to strange sounds in the darkness.
She roosted on the edge of a hill in the highlands at 2,046' elevation. This is an area of mixed forest and farmland and she was not far from what appears to be farm buildings and perhaps a house.
This is a new route variation for her as she usually travels along the Pacific coast side of Nicaragua. For some reason, this year she chose to take the inland passage.