22 November, 2016

Island Girl Has Completed Her Southbound Migration

As Island Girl was approaching Valparaiso, Chile on the last leg of her southern migration, we lost all contact with her for approximately 5 days.  Usually this is a bad sign, because temporary outages due to a depleted battery in her backpack have always in the past resolved themselves after two or three days, with at least occasional data being received even if it's not of sufficient quality to publish on a web map. By the third or fourth day we began to fear that her backpack transmitter had failed, or worse (the batteries have never before lasted more than two years or so, so eight years has already been extremely exceptional).  But, amazingly, we received one more sub-standard data point early this morning, but it was good enough to indicate that Island Girl has reached her southern home range near Putu on the Pacific Coast of Chile.

Whether her transmitter and battery will regain full functionality, enabling us to track her next northbound migration in April, is an open question.  For now, all is well.

9 comments:

westendoldbird said...

thank you for this last bit on news on her journey home. I will miss not knowing where she is. But, she is home safe for another well deserved rest.

Marco Panella said...

Good luck Island Girl!

Marco Panella
Rome
Italy

Alain Robert said...

i would like to thank the whole team making this possible. every year its a privilege to be able to follow island girl across the americas.

Alain, Québec.

Donald McCall said...

Thanks to everyone for the nice comments. It is very gratifying to know that people from around the world are following Island Girl with us.

Unknown said...

Will it be possible to put new batteries in the transmitter?

Donald McCall said...

The transmitter is already old technology so it would be better to replace the entire unit, not just the batteries. However, since we now have 8 years' worth of data and we don't know how old Island Girl is, a better approach might be to just remove the transmitter and let her live the rest of her life without having a solar-powered GPS backpack strapped to her back. That would require a fair amount of time and expense (imagine the logistics of traveling from Seattle to Chile with all the necessary equipment for getting to her location and trapping her, remembering that this whole project is funded with voluntary contributions), but is being considered. We need to see if the transmitter is really failing before making any decisions.

Jeannie Bird said...

Thank-you to the whole team who has made this possible. I always wonder how/where her off-spring are? Some incredible DNA out there. Going to Baffin Island probably a daunting task. A documentary on Island Girl - crowd funding to help support this project.

Anonymous said...

What about trapping her to remove the transmitter while she is at her nest site? Aren't there people working there that are capable of doing that?

Annemieke Vilsterman said...

Hello, thanks for making it possible to following Island girl. It is an amazing strong peregrine. Where I live in Holland are also peregrines living. But they don't fly the distance Island girl is flying. At this moment it is not possible to open the internet site. But whatever the decision is to remove the transmitter or not.. good luck Island girl.
And a special thanks to the whole team.

Annemieke Vilsterman