Oswegatchie


Oswegatchie, an immature male named for a local creek, was tagged on March 8, 2014, in Odgensburg, New York, along the St. Lawrence River, by Tom McDonald. He spent the remainder of the winter in a small area centered on the local high school and its athletic fields.

In early April he began moving north and then west, circling through southern Ontario and Quebec in the upper St. Lawrence Valley as far west as Algonquin Provincial Park, remaining near Arnprior through much of May. June 2, 2014, he made a rapid flight about 215 miles (340 km) north to Lac Malartic in western Quebec — then settled down at the Mine Canadian in Malartic, the largest open-pit gold mine in Canada.

He transmitted data June 16, then went dark — having migrated north, we assumed. But July 18 his transmitter sent 1,200 locations, showing that he’d apparently died around June 26. His remains were recovered and necropsied, and while there was no obvious trauma or injury, it was too long after death to determine a cause. His transmitter was recovered and will be reused.

Thanks to support from hundreds of people, Project SNOWstorm 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!

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