Monday, April 19, 2010

Blue headed for Rankin Inlet

After spending the Arctic winter on the Paraguay/Brazil border, Blue began the first leg of long inward migration back toward his breeding territory near Rankin Inlet this week. His return route (in blue) is so far quite similar to that taken south (in purple) 4 months ago. Last year he was on territory before the end of May. For his timing to be similar, he has about 40 days to travel more than 8500 miles. I'll be on the ice of the Hudson Bay by then, and will hopefully get the chance to actually watch him arrive knowing exactly how far he has flown in an effort to get an opportunity to produce more young. In the meantime, his most recent location has him 400 miles NW of his wintering territory.

This spring is already quite different than last. The first of the 2 images below show snow cover over the southern portion of the Hudson Bay and James Bay on April 10, 2009, and the second shows snow cover on April 10, 2010.

Snow Cover April 10, 2009

Snow cover April 10, 2010