Monday, March 16, 2020

The good and the bad of GPS-tracked Swallow-tailed Kites on migration

ARCI, together with Orleans Audubon has been tracking Swallow-tailed Kites with GPS-transmitters from their breeding grounds in the US to their wintering grounds in South America. Kites are returning to the US now on favorable winds from the Yucatan.  

Ponchitolawa has made it back to Louisiana, however we’ve lost the signal from Lacombe, a male Orleans Audubon has been tracking since 2015. His last location, in northern Costa Rica, can be seen in this map. He was the living kite we have tracked for the longest time, almost 5 years. We are fortunate for him, and the data he’s contributed over these past years that have led to our accruing knowledge of Swallow-tailed Kites.

Our friend Sarasota also reached Florida in the last few days, landing in the Panhandle, and now making his way back to the T.M. Carlton Reserve over dry land.
Next in line for a Gulf of Mexico crossing is Apopka, Pritchard, and Suwannee, all with last locations in Nicaragua this week.

Not pictured are Sawgrass, Wilson, and JAX last in Brazil and away from cell-network data uploading; as well as OK and PBC-ERM, two kites that we have not hear from since August, but hope to see them alive and well near their last breeding locations in Florida.

Wishing speedy tailwinds to all our kite friends heading back to the US.