As we have previously reported, the researchers at Avian Research and Conservation Institute had received no downloads from Suwannee's tracker and assumed that it had finally lost battery power, having maintained contact almost a year longer than the battery's expected life.
Amazingly, Suwannee called home again! Researcher Gina Kent wrote to let us know that as of September 2, " He's near the border of Nicaragua and Costa Rica!"
"So...what happened? We are still getting very little location data (lucky if it is one location a day), but it is likely that the cell towers near the Refuge changed and the software in his transmitter could not relay the daily locations. Once he got to Central America, there were cell towers compatible with his transmitter! All the stored data was uploaded!
"Can't expect too much more from this old transmitter, but we'll celebrate these successes and his survival in each and every location.
This is my favorite news of the week."
We all share Gina's joy at hearing from Suwannee again and at the fact that, at least for the moment, Friends is helping track two Swallow-tailed Kites, Suwannee and Suwannee II.
Gina also reported that, as of September 2, "Suwannee II is safe and still enjoying the bugs and forests of the Yucatan." See her location in the 8.24.2022 post.
In related news, Suwannee II is now part of the St. Petersburg Audubon Society's Raptors on the Move project. The Swallow-tailed Kite they had been tracking is no longing sending data so they are including Suwannee II in their program. We are happy to be sharing our data.