Otter, the Hybrid Owl

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Working with snowy owls is rarely easy, but earlier this month Tom McDonald had a run of buzzard’s luck — including a trip to the ER — that would have stopped most people. It didn’t stop Tom, though, and as a result, we have our first-ever owl tagged with an exciting new generation of transmitter — one that will allow … Read More

Say Hello to Argus

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Harwood has some company. Last weekend, the ever-busy Matt Solensky was able to tag another adult male snowy north of Fargo, ND, in almost the same spot where he’d caught Harwood the weekend before. On Friday, Jan. 19, Matt got a call from Dan Mason, one of the Fargo-area birders who have been so helpful in finding snowy owls. Dan … Read More

A Tough (and Smelly) Break

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Over the years, we’ve seen snowy owls — both our tagged birds and unmarked owls — get into a variety of problems. We’ve had tagged owls killed by collisions with vehicles and planes, electrocuted on poorly designed power lines or die from flying into them, drowned by nor’easter storms on the coast, or mangled by the powerful backwash of jet … Read More

Ice-riding Around PEI

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A week or so ago we shared the news that Pickford had come zooming back into range, migrating southeast from James Bay, where she’d been since May, to northern New Brunswick. Well, she kept on moving, and her latest positions — sporadic, because her battery is still recharging from the drain it took to send almost 11,000 GPS points, and … Read More

Harwood, the Roadside Owl

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We have a new tagged owl on the prairies of eastern North Dakota — and if you’re driving on Interstate 29 north of Fargo, keep an eye out for him, because he likes billboards. Wildlife biologist Matt Solensky usually works the land west of Jamestown, ND, where he’s tagged several owls for Project SNOWstorm over the past few years. This … Read More

Pickford Phones Home

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Pickford — a female we tagged last winter as a first-winter immature last season on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — has been playing hide-and-seek with us for months. The last time we heard from her in the spring was May 29, when she was heading north along the western shore of James Bay. Her transmitter connected with a cell … Read More

Introducing Coddington

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We’re pleased to introduce our newest owl — “Coddington,” an adult male tagged Jan. 3, 2019, on the Buena Vista grasslands in central Wisconsin by Gene Jacobs, and named for a nearby town. Coddington weighed nearly 1,700 g (3.75 lbs.), a healthy weight for a male, which tend to weigh a third or less that of an average female snowy. … Read More

Familiar Faces

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The past few weeks have been fairly quiet on the surface, but there’s been a lot of activity behind the scenes — and some exciting news about old friends. A number of Project SNOWstorm team members have been out trapping, trying to deploy transmitters. In North Dakota, Matt Solensky has been trying to follow up tagging Woodworth by targeting a … Read More

New Paper from SNOWstorm and Colleagues

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Since we started Project SNOWstorm five years ago, one of our major aims has been not only to share our findings with the public, but to disseminate them in the scientific literature as well. The latest in our series of publications has just appeared in the prestigious journal Ibis, looking at the age composition of snowy owl irruptions, and comparing … Read More

Heading for the Line

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I often tell groups to whom I’m speaking about Project SNOWstorm that virtually every one of the owls we’ve tagged has surprised us in some fashion. And that’s certainly the case now, as we watch two owls in the same general region heading in opposite directions. After more than a month and a half near Melfort in central Saskatchewan, Pettibone … Read More