Friday, May 28, 2010

No sign of Red...Blue still in the tropics

Blowing snow, poor visibility (fog) and gusts up to 50 mph have kept us from going out today - so I thought I'd get a note posted to the blog. Mark Prostor and I visited Red's territory on May 22, and found the resident female and an unbanded male. The nest ledge used last year is drifted in with about 12 feet of snow. To date, only about 1/3 of the sites in the study area (about 36 in total) are occupied.

Blue opted for the "safe, but longer" route having circumnavigated the Andes by bearing north until he reached the Venezuelan coast, then flying westward to Panama. His most recent location has him only 7 degrees further north than he was on May 13. Each degree of latitude is about 69 miles, so he is only 500 miles further north than he was 2 weeks ago despite having traveled more that 1900 miles.

At this rate, he will undoubtedly be one of the late arriving breeders (certainly later than he was last year) - but his timing may yet prove to be to his advantage. His territory remained unoccupied as of May 26.

Route to May 28

More next week...Alastair