Bill Thrune - USFWS
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Peregrine Falcon Now Heading Home
April 9, 1998
All winter long, the satellite signals arrived from Veracruz, Mexico. Geoff Holroyd of the Canadian Wildlife Service
waited, confident that Falcon #5735's spring migration would soon begin. After tracking her 21 day trip from Alberta
to Veracruz last fall by satellite telemetry (see September
22nd story), the falcon had hardly moved. "She's probably dead!" teased some
But as today's story tells, Falcon #5735 is very much alive. And she's heading home this
very minute, back to her nest in northern Alberta's Wood Buffalo National Park. Here Geoff Holroyd shares the highlights
from along the migration trail:
|Photo: Skip Ambrose
To: Journey North
From: Geoff Holroyd, Canadian Wildlife Service
Peregrine Falcon 5735 is on the move, and she is moving fast!!
Up until March 10 she was located where she had spent the winter, about 80 km south of Veracruz, Mexico, just inland
of the Gulf Coast. On March 13 she was about 50km north of Veracruz, three days later she was south of Austin,
Texas and on the March 19 she was 50 km southeast of Oklahoma City.
To this point, her route and travel speed north were amazingly similar to her trip south.
(See map.) Last fall, she completed the southward flight from Austin to Veracruz in three days. Now she had retraced
her flight path in three days, covering about 1200 km. In the second leg north she moved 600 km in three days.
Next, her rate of progress slowed due to spring weather. On March 22 she was 200 km southeast
of Oklahoma City. She encountered a spring storm and apparently ended up south and east of her March 19th location.
By March 25 she had recovered from the setback due to weather and was 40 km west of Tulsa, Oklahoma, only 120
km north of where she was on the 19th. On March 29 she was 200 km west of Kansas City and on April 1 she was 40
km north west of Lincoln, Nebraska.
Her net rate of travel was slower this week than in the first week north of Veracruz. In
the last 7 days (March 25-April 1) she moved 550 km (79 km/day) compared with 1750 km in the 6 days from March
13-19 when she left Mexico. So far she had covered over 2500 km since she left her winter home on March 10.
|Photo: Skip Ambrose
The satellite transmitter is worn on the falcon's back. It is attached by straps which fit around the wings,
like a backpack. The antenna is almost 9" long. (Click on picture for a larger image.)
Last weekend, Peregrine 5735 continued her journey north. As of Saturday (April 4) she was in southwest South
Dakota, near the White River. Since the last location on April 1, she has traveled 520 km north west diagonally
Last fall, she traveled south in 21 days. How many days will it take her to reach Wood Buffalo National Park this
Canadian Wildlife Service
Note: When Geoff sends word that Peregrine #5735 has reached her nest we'll post
the news here.