11 May, 2014

Taking A Hard Left Turn

After spending the night in Panama once again, Island Girl took a day off. She flew a mere 60 km (37 miles) to the west and altered her migratory heading to compensate for the east-west axis of this tiny but wonderful country.

She stayed in the middle of the isthmus and held up at Lake Bayano, about 80 km (50 miles) east of Panama City.

She slept that night on a densely forested hillside above one of the feeder rivers of the lake. The mountains here are relatively low and she roosted at 845' elevation.

This site was just 8.7 km (5 miles) west of the Pan-American Highway which makes its appearance once again after the roadless areas of the Darien Gap.

Looking at Google Earth, I would speculate that Island Girl was most likely hunting birds or bats over the lake that day.

Peregrines are specialists in taking their prey over open expanses of water. Once a prey item is exposed above an area where it cannot immediately drop straight down into cover, the extraordinary flying skills of the peregrines come into play.

Most birds (as well as bats) are no match for an extremely experienced, migratory adult tundra peregrine in such a situation.

Lake Bayano appears to be a perfect hunting arena for Island Girl.


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