01 October, 2016

Island Girl Begins Her 2016 Southbound Migration

Island Girl began her 2016 southern migration, the eighth one that we've tracked, on 17 September this year, a few days sooner than usual. Data reception was spotty during the first few days because her backpack solar-rechargeable battery had been depleted, probably because of cloud cover or stormy weather. She didn't cover a lot of distance during the first few days, either, moving slowly southwest across the Ungava Peninsula of northern Quebec after crossing Hudson Strait from Baffin Island. By 28 September she had passed through Quebec and the southeastern corner of Ontario, and crossed into Michigan. She often covers greater distances each day when passing through the central United States (in either direction), and this year was no exception. Over the next three days of flying, through late afternoon Friday (30 Sep), she traversed upper Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, and most of Arkansas, and was approaching Louisiana and heading for the Gulf Coast. She had covered 1299 km (807 mi) in those three days, and 3897 km (2422 mi) since leaving Baffin Island.

In four of the past five years she has followed this approximate route to the Gulf Coast in south central Louisiana and then flown southwest across the Gulf of Mexico, making landfall at various places in Mexico or the southern tip of Texas. 2014 was similar except in that year she departed from northern Florida, not Louisiana.  By contrast, in the first 2 years that we tracked her (2009 and 2010), Island Girl departed from the tip of Florida and crossed the Gulf via Cuba, so this might represent a permanent change from her earlier routes.  We have no idea how old Island Girl is, or how many times she made this migration before we started tracking her.

3 comments:

robin robinson said...

Nice to see the comments back, And your website. thought you may have shut it down.
thanks
Robin

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you for the comments and it great to see someone writing again.

Lesley said...

So glad you are back online!