During either their spring or fall migrations, Swallow-tailed Kites from the western subpopulation (Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana) may fly south directly across the Gulf of Mexico, or they may head west and travel entirely overland, following the Gulf coastline through Louisiana, Texas, and Mexico. This year, both tagged birds from the western subpopulation circumnavigated the Gulf, but one surprised us by taking an easterly track.
|Jennifer and Tom Coulson prepare to |
release Strong River. © Jennifer Coulson
|Strong River circumnavigates the Gulf to the west, typical for a bird of the western subpopulation.|
|Lacombe. © Jennifer Coulson|
|Lacombe, although tagged in Louisiana, takes a route typical for birds of the eastern sub-population.|
Thanks to Jennifer Coulson for raising the necessary funds and safely capturing and tagging these birds just before they left the country. We are grateful for her contributions to the Swallow-tailed Kite tracking study over the years.