Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Joe's Hag Heads South

Joe's Hag left her breeding cliff in the 3rd week of September and started south for a yet-to-be-determined wintering location somewhere on the South American continent...maybe through Padre Island in the middle of October again as she did last year.

Southward, first stop South Hampton Island

If success is measured in terms of life-time reproduction, 2010 was a pretty good year for Joe's Hag and the male (24 C) with which she raised 4 young. Some pairs fledge a chick or two...for many breeding aged adults the long journey north is just a long journey north...

For some, one storm interrupts a breeding attempt completely

However, if prey is abundant and the weather cooperates, providing for and producing 4 well-fed offspring is routine for an experienced pair of breeders...and from the relative safety of an eyrie that overlooks any prey-rich landscape, hatch year birds need only to eat whatever is brought to the nest ledge to roll the dice in their favor.

The landscape below Joe's Hag's cliff (photo B. Robinson)