We describe and compare the migration routes, length of migration, and duration of migration of Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus tundrius and Swainson's Hawks Buteo swainsoni in the Western Hemisphere. We radio tracked migrants using the Argos satellite system. Our initial samples were 34 Swainson's Hawks from representative areas of their breeding range, and 61 Peregrine Falcons captured at nest sites across the North American boreal forest and low Arctic or on the migration routes along the mid-Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. The average distance of migration for Peregrines was 8,624 km southward, and 8,247 km northward. Peregrines travelled at an average rate of I72 km/d southward and 198 km/d going north. Peregrine Falcons used at least three broad, general routes south from the breeding areas, and individuals stopped migrating as far north as the U.S.A. mid-Atlantic coast and as far south as Central Argentina. The radiomarked Peregrine Falcons used coastal routes, mid-continental routes, and water-crossing routes: the Davis Strait and Caribbean Sea. During northward migration, Peregrines migrating through at Padre Island, Texas diverged for destinations from Central Alaska across the continent to central West Greenland. Swainson's Hawks migrated an average of about 13,504 km southward and 11,952 km northward, and travelled 188 km/d southward and 150 km/d northward. Swainson's Hawks converged in eastern Mexico on the Gulf of Mexico coast. Southward, these hawks followed a narrow, well-defined path through Central America, across the Andes Mountains in Columbia, and east of the Andes to central Argentina where they all spent the austral summer. Swainson's Hawks northward migration largely retraced their southward route.
Additional Publication Details
Routes and travel rates of migrating Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus and Swainson's Hawks Buteo swainsoni in the Western Hemisphere