Erie, an immature male, was tagged in near the Erie, PA, International Airport on Jan. 19, 2014, along with Millcreek. He was one of several snowy owls in the winter of 2013-14 that spent the majority of their time well offshore, on the frozen surface of the Great Lakes — in his case, Lake Erie — making only occasional visits to land. We assume these owls were hunting waterbirds in the ever-changing network of open-water cracks between the massive plates of wind-shifted ice covering the lakes. In spring he began moving north, first to Lake St. Clair, then up the eastern side of Lake Huron, remaining on offshore ice. He was last detected on April 14, 2014, after which he moved north of cellular network range.
Thanks to support from hundreds of people, we put GPS transmitters on 22 Snowy Owls during the winter of 2013-14 to study their ecology and movements while on the wintering grounds. Our work is ongoing, but we remain funded entirely by contributions from individuals and birding groups. Your support will allows us to continue this important research on these beautiful birds. Please donate to this project to make it a success!
Project SNOWstorm would like to specifically thank the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology for generously sponsoring the transmitter worn by Erie.