13 October, 2016

Resting Up in Tampico, Mexico

After reaching Mexico sometime on 8 October, Island Girl followed the Gulf Coast farther south to Tampico, a major city and seaport on the western edge of the Gulf of Mexico.  She was still there as of Thursday morning, 13 October, but very active and visiting all parts of the city. There is obviously lots of prey available in seaports like this, and she's probably refueling before continuing her journey south.  The weather in Tampico has been warm and sunny for the past few days so that's not a factor in her current stopover, although occasionally we have seen her sit tight for awhile during very stormy weather. She will most likely pause again when she reaches Limón, Costa Rica, where she has spent several days during most of the southern migrations for which we have tracked her.

Island Girl's favorite overnight roost spots in large cities like this have been large cell phone towers, but even outside of cities she will often find other sorts of towers or antennas on which to spend a night and survey her surroundings. And now that Google Street View covers even Tampico, these roost sites can be viewed on Google Earth - although not in real time, of course.  For those not familiar with the technology (assuming you already have Google Earth on your computer): first navigate to Island Girl's coordinates (lat/long), available on her FRG web map; move your mouse to the top right corner of the Google Earth screen to highlight the controls; then drag the orange "Pegman" figure to Island Girl's location. When the view shifts to "Street View", use the right/left arrow keys to rotate the view horizontally, and drag the screen up or down to look up or down, in order to spot Island Girl's cell tower or other high point. (The up/down arrow keys move you along the current street).

Now 26 days into her migration, Island Girl has covered about 60 percent of the total distance.

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