Peregrine Falcon Migration Update: October 27, 1998
Contributed by biologist Geoff Holroyd, Canadian Wildlife Service

Dear Peregrine Enthusiast

Hurricane Mitch affected our peregrine's progress in this week's update!!

Photo: Skip Ambrose

On October 20/21 our female peregrine was roosting near the south shore of Haiti. The next transmitter location has the female 500 km south of Haiti over the Caribbean Sea at midnight, October 24, presumably heading south for Venezuela. In fact she was only 150 km from the Guajira Peninsula, the closest land fall.

At the same time, Tropical Storm Mitch was centered to the west of her and being upgraded to a Class 3 Hurricane (ultimately to a rare class 5 hurricane). Winds were blowing from the south where the peregrine was flying. We do not know exactly how hard the wind was blowing but her flight speed is about 45 kph and she must have been travelling into winds close to or greater than that speed. The sustained winds at the center of the hurricane were 160kph at the time with stronger gusts.

At 2 am she was west of her midnight location and by 7am she was clearly headed back north. Hurricane Mitch was too much. She may not have know that land was only 150 to the south, but if the head winds exceeded her flight speed she was wise to turn back north.

On October 27 her location was on the southwest corner of Haiti, south of Les Cayes.

She clearly wants to go to South America and planned to take the short cut across the Caribbean rather than the long route through the Leeward and Windward Islands. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode!!

I will be away for the next 5 weeks. Jason Duxbury has agreed to update you on her progress.


Geoff Holroyd, Research Scientist
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Edmonton, Alberta

Read Geoff Holroyd's next report and see where #5735 is on October 30

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