Friends helped support the tracker worn by Suwannee, a Swallow-tailed Kite whose flights have been followed by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute (ARCI) for the past three years. When the battery in the tracker died, Friends was able to support a tracker for another bird, Suwannee II.
Suwannee II hung around the Lower Suwannee Refuge in June after being outfitted with his transmitter. Now he has flown north to the Savannah River!
What! Why north, we asked?
ARCI Senior Researcher Gina Kent replied that Suwannee II is using a location where the Institute knows other kites have roosted in the past. She says it's quite common for birds from the south to move north for pre-migration preparations. A kite that nests on the FL Panther NWR came to St. Augustine. One from there, years ago, went all the way to the NC border. Another from West Palm Beach moved north to the St. Johns River. It is always exciting to see their pre-migration behavior, says Gina.
We will post updates on Suwannee II as they're available.