Peregrine Falcon Migration Update: November 8, 1998
Contributed by biologist Geoff Holroyd, Canadian Wildlife Service

Jason Duxbury Reporting for Geoff Holroyd:

Greeting Once Again Peregrine Migration Fans,

Photo: Skip Ambrose

This week we join our Peregrine on the move again. Those who bet Jamaica was her next move.... wrong. Those who bet on another attempt for Venezuela.... wrong as well. She's heading south-west!

It appears that this year's Peregrine is not as determined to get to her wintering grounds as the one we followed last year. Those who tuned in last year will remember how Peregrine 5735 v.1 flew like a rocket to Veracruz, Mexico where she remained for the entire winter. Peregrine 5735 v.2 is taking a much more scenic route (with some influence from Hurricane Mitch).

Remnants of powerful storm systems may have kept her on Navassa, as her signal indicated she was still in the same area on November 5 at 8:14 am local time. She may have also been refueling on Navassa's potentially bountiful supply of prey. However, three days later her signal was no longer in the vicinity of Navassa, but was 640 km (400 miles) south-west of Navassa at 6:01 am local time. (By the way, her local time at this moment is Eastern Standard Time). This locates her over the Caribbean Sea approximately 450 km (~280 miles) north of the coast of Panama and around 610km (~380 miles) east of Nicaragua. Basically, in the middle of nowhere with no land in sight.

Migration route of Peregrine Falcon #5735

The next signal location, one hour and 44 minutes later, had our Peregrine 171 km (107 miles) further south-west, which works out to an amazing average speed of 99 km/h (62 mph)! Try getting that kind of data with band recovery!

Her next location was approximately 10 km (~6 miles) to the north and only around 80 km (50 miles) to the west, but this leg of her trip took 2 hours and 39 minutes, slowing down to leisurely rate of 30 km/h (19 mph). This suggests that a) the 171 km flight was aided by a tail wind and the latter flight was fighting some of that tail wind; b) the 171 km flight tired her out and she simply slowed down; or c) all of the above.

So where is Peregrine 5735 heading? Her path suggests the Colombian islands of Isla de San Andres, Cayos del E.S.E, and Cayos de Albuquerque. Beyond those islands to the west are islands of Nicaragua. Will she make for the coast of Central America and then head further south? Does she still want to eventually get to a location in South America where her original path from Haiti was leading? Or will she stay in Central America? The former would suggest winter site fidelity, the latter would be an argument against that theory.

Stay Tuned!!

Jason Duxbury

PS If this grad student was following the same route as our Peregrine,Isla de San Andres would be my wintering grounds!

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

Read Geoff Holroyd's final report about #5735 on December 7, 1998

Today's News Report Your Sightings Teacher's Manual Search Journey North

Copyright 1998 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.
Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions toour feedback form