Rodenticides and Snowy Owls: A Growing Problem

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

The death in New York City in late February of Flaco the Eurasian eagle-owl made news all over the world; many people had been rooting for this captive-bred male, who escaped from the Central Park Zoo in a year earlier after someone vandalized his enclosure, and had been living free in the Big Apple ever since. At the time of … Read More

And Then There Were…None?

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Sorry for the lapse in updates; I was traveling last week, then last Thursday and Friday we here in northern New England got walloped with up to two feet of heavy, wet snow, which brought down uncountable trees and limbs, closed many roads and left hundreds of thousands of people without power, some of whom are still waiting for restoration. … Read More

Northward? Yes and No

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

Although Newton and Loren remain more or less where they’ve been (in Newton’s case, all winter), Atwood has pushed well to the north while Hochelaga has, in all likelihood, slipped off the cell network for the summer. On March 20, Atwood was just outside Kapukasing, ON, a longtime timber-and-pulp town whose paper mill’s claim to fame, since 1928, has been … Read More

Hochelaga Update

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

Just a quick bit of news for everyone who (like me, I must admit) might have been worried about Hochelaga, the adult male who likes to winter near the Montréal airport and who has been largely out of touch the past two weeks. Yesterday evening, March 14, he checked in — and no wonder he wasn’t connecting via cell. He’s … Read More

On the Move (or Not)

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The days are getting longer, and at least one of our tagged owls has started to head north — and that one, Atwood, is a bird whose locations we’d been masking because there was a bit more photographer activity in the area than we were entirely comfortable with. We also heard from an old veteran whom we assumed had remained … Read More

Introducing Atwood

Scott WeidensaulUpdates17 Comments

On Feb. 25, SNOWstorm collaborators Charlotte England and Malcolm Wilson tagged an adult female snowy owl, which they nicknamed Atwood for a nearby small town in southern Ontario. She weighed a healthy 2,170 grams (4.8 pounds) and based on her flight feather molt is at least four years old. We look forward to tracking her movements for years to come. … Read More

An Important New Study on Lemming Cycles

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of small rodents, especially lemmings, to snowy owls. Although snowies eat a remarkable variety of prey during the winter, from voles, muskrats and rabbits to waterbirds like ducks, gulls and occasionally even birds as large as snow geese and red-throated loons, during the summer breeding season in the Arctic their nesting fortunes are largely … Read More

All Back in Touch

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

Just a very quick update to say that all three of our tagged owls are where we’d expect them to be. After going dark for a week, Hochelaga’s transmitter picked up enough solar juice to reconnect regularly starting Feb. 20, and his data show he’s doing what he’s been doing all winter, hanging around the Montréal-Trudeau airport and nearby highways. … Read More

North, Then Not

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

As we noted last week, both of our veteran snowy owls, Newton and Hochelaga, have been off the grid for a week or two. In my most recent update, I noted that both had very low battery voltages before they went dark, so that their radio silence probably had to do with low solar recharge that’s not unusual at this … Read More

Introducing Loren

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For the first time in this exceedingly slow winter, we have a newly tagged owl to introduce — Loren, an immature female in Québec. After she showed up at the Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, she was trapped Jan. 25 by biologists from Falcon Environmental, which handles wildlife control at the airport — they have been great colleagues of our in years … Read More