Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Crews-in"

Margins for Peregrines breeding in the Arctic are narrow…in some years, certain individuals are too narrowly restricted and some of what’s supposed to happen just doesn’t.

Partially hatched chick at abandoned site

This breeding season is all but over; day length and sub-zero temperatures will soon urge breeding birds and, in some cases, their fledged young to leave the Arctic and fly south to their Austral wintering ranges throughout South America.

Future recruit?

Every spring our field crews arrive on the Arctic breeding grounds and try to follow every circumstance as each pair of breeding birds tries to replace themselves and more. We use every voyeuristic tool and trick we can think of to sneak a peak…bands, blood, cameras, satellite tags, feathers, rulers, scales, pencils, paper, rain gauges. But bands don’t go on and wings can’t be measured nor migratory routes traced without snow machines, quads, boats, snow pants, sunglasses, hot tea, rain gear, wrenches, twine, a place to sleep and help when things just won’t go your way. Once in every while, we actually do get a glimpse and gain a little insight, but it’s of no consequence if not summarized, written down and dispensed in ways that are useful.

None of this happens without good people.

The Rankin Crew: Frankie, Poisey, and Alex

Steensby Inlet (Baffin Island) Crew: Theo (AF missing)

Igloolik Crew: Matt, Barry and Mike (missing)

Mark Prostor (Rankin and Igloolik)

Alastair