Hello Followers of Suwannee the Swallow-tailed Kite, from Friends board member and Suwannee Project chair, Debbie Jordan.
Fall is in the air and I hope you’ve had a chance to get outside and enjoy the wonderful weather of the last few days. I’ve been keeping an eye on the Audubon map www.audubon.org/suwannee that tracks Suwannee’s migration and was thrilled to see that he has made it to Brazil, getting close to where he overwintered last year…5,000 miles from the Refuge! This week I checked in with ARCI bird researcher Gina Kent, who monitors Suwannee’s coordinates and keeps the map up to date. She reports some interesting information below and asked me to share the map showing Suwannee's trip south thus far in 2020.
The Friends are still attempting to raise funds to continue this research but with the pandemic closures and no festivals this has been difficult. Should you be interested in helping, we would gratefully accept a donation earmarked for Suwannee or perhaps you may want to purchase a Suwannee t-shirt to support the effort. Please send your requests to me at firstname.lastname@example.org Looking forward to hearing from you!
From Gina Kent, research ecologist and coordinator, Avian Research and Conservation Institute
Suwannee's probably not quite to his winter range. He stayed in Mato Grosso last year and he's in Rondonia, the state just to the north. We expect he'll be there soon.
Both this year and last year he stayed close to the Refuge the entire pre-migration. Both years he migrated south on August 8th!
On his way south through Florida, he spent a night in the Green Swamp, another night in Picayune Strand State Forest and then flew to Cuba from the Ten-thousand Islands NWR. He did not stop in Cuba and continued to the Yucatan, coming on land on August 10th south of Tulum, Mexico. He had moved very fast this year through Colombia and the Amazon of Brazil. Last location was on 9/16. A lot of open areas with few cell towers. I'm not worried, this will be pretty normal for the next few months.