Saturday, May 11, 2013

2011-2012 Migration


Croom, a male Swallow-tailed Kite, was tagged as an adult on 30 May 2011 on private property in Hernando County Florida, six miles southwest of the Croom tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest. We do not know if he nested that year. Croom departed Florida on 6 August 2011, flying first from Cape Sable (extreme southern Florida at the seaward tip of the Everglades) to western Cuba, then to the Yucatán Peninsula.

He spent over two months making his way to the northern edge of the U.S. population's winter range, near the border of Bolivia and Brazil, where he stayed for three months before beginning his northward migration in mid-January 2012. His return trip was quicker, under two months. From the northern tip of the Yucatán, he crossed the Gulf of Mexico in the late hours of 3 March 2012, arriving in the U.S. by mid-afternoon 15 hours later.  From there, Croom took two days to return to his 2011 territory where he nested in 2012.

Check back next week for an update on Croom's 2012/2013 migration and his current location. The headwinds were strong this past February as Croom flew across the Gulf to get to his Florida territory, but he did make it back to Florida safely.

As we catch up with Croom's current status, we look forward to sharing more natural history stories from his life. We are also working on getting a photo of him soon!