C2 is AOK!

 Biologists are supposed to be objective and not let personal feelings cloud their interpretation of Nature. Well, when you follow a “friend” like C2 on a journey filled with 2,700 miles of danger, all on his own, with limited down time for fishing and eating, and using mostly just the fat that is stored in his body as energy, it is hard to be objective!

During the evening of September 22nd, C2 appeared to be out in the middle of Embalse Munoz (Munoz Reservoir) in central Cuba with no apparent structures for him to perch on. This set me worrying big time that something had happened to him. BUT NOT TOO WORRY! Today I downloaded the recent data and not only did C2 survive the night of September 22nd, the next day he headed east on Cuba and as of last Saturday night (September 27th) he was nearing the extreme southern tip of the Dominican Republic. He likely left the Dominican Republic to fly the 400+ mile crossing of the Caribbean yesterday (Sunday) morning and is just now arriving in South America!!!! I am one Happy Biologist knowing that C2 is OK!

Let’s look at some details of C2’s daily progress.

Day 12 – September 23th: No more worries, C2 continued resting or eating another fish in the center of Embalse Munoz until just after 8 am, then headed to the north end of the reservoir before continuing on his southeastward trek across Cuba. He flew continuously at a very constant speed until 7 pm when he stopped for the night near the city of Manzanillo in Grandma Province along the Golfo de (Gulf of) Guacanayabo. A 110-mile day with about two thirds of Cuba done!

Day 13 – September 24th: C2 got an early start with what appears to be a little fishing thrown in around 8 am and reached another reservoir about 70 miles east by 3 pm, where he remained perched through the night. I could not find the name of the reservoir but it is located on the boundary between Holguin and Santiago de Cuba Provinces, about 6 miles southeast of the town of San German.

Day 14 September 25th: C2 remained at the north end of the reservoir until after 10 am this morning, probably good news as he may have caught an early morning fish or was still working on one that he had caught yesterday. He headed south and east flying up a valley until 4 pm when he made a correction and flew south 18 miles to the north section of Bahia de Guantanamo, apparently one of his favorite stopovers on his migration path. He visited there last year on September 12th. The US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is located in the southern section of the bay, a few miles south of C2’s favorite spot. A short day of 87 miles with lots of rest.

Day 15– September 26th: I often wonder if C2 knows what he will be getting into as he starts a new day. Does he really know what he is doing or where he is going? Well, today was one of those days where he headed straight to the eastern end of Cuba east of Jauco, and then made a 90 degree turn and headed due south flying out over the Windward Passage between Cuba and Hispaniola at 2 pm. He reached Grande Cayemite, a small island on the north coast of the western peninsula of Haiti in the dark by 8 pm, making the 104-mile crossing in 6 hours. Last year’s flight path from Guantanamo Bay to Haiti was almost exactly the same as this year’s. Obviously, C2 knows what he is doing but the question remains How does he know what he is doing?!

Day 16 – September 27th: With no time to waste, C2 got off to an early start flying east southeast along the Haiti peninsula, crossed into the Dominican Republic at 6 pm and may have ended the day at our last data point on 7 pm east of the town of Cabo Roja along the southwest coast of the Dominican Republic. Last year he bypassed the eastern trip to the Dominican Republic and headed straight across Haiti and out over the Caribbean to South America.

Cabo Beata, the southernmost tip of the Island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic is a favorite “jumping off place” for Ospreys as they begin their 400 to 500-mile journey across the Caribbean to either Colombia or Venezuela on the north coast of South America. I suspect that C2 stopped for the evening at or near his location at 7 pm on the 27th. However, if conditions were favorable, he may have continued on out over the Caribbean, the most dangerous part of his migration.

At his current migration speed and barring any unforeseen delays, C2 will arrive at his winter home at Lake Valencia in Venezuela on or near October 3rd or 4th. He is a taking a more conservative approach to this year’s migration, staying over land more and avoiding the longer and more dangerous flights over water that he took last year by reducing them as much as possible. He still has about 750 miles to go!

Happy trails to you C2!

LEGEND
Bulls eyes = Osprey’s location every hour.
Lines = Sequence of locations in time (not the actual flight path)
Times in the data points are Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

VIEWING INSTRUCTIONS:
Click the Map, Sat(ellite), Ter(rain) or Earth buttons on the map for alternate views. The Earth view requires you to have the free Google Earth software on your computer. For a larger map, go to Google Maps or download the KML file to view in your copy of Google Earth.

COMMENTS

  1.  Wonderful news! Continued safe travels, C2!
  2.  Glad to hear this. Just want him out of the DR, so many birds lost there to random shooters.
  3.  Yes! I was worried alsoYou worry when you have followed there progress from the beginning..You want them to be safe. I would have been very upset if something happenedHave a safe and happy winter C2,,Looking forward to your journey north in March!