The Wrong Kind of News

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This was supposed to be a good-news story — tagging our first Maine owl of the year, a bird moved from a busy airport to the safety of a national wildlife refuge. Unfortunately, it’s turned out instead to be a sober reminder of the many dangers that snowy owls face when they come south. On Dec. 6 USDA Wildlife Services, … Read More

Moving West, Moving North, Moving South

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It’s been a while since we’ve done a roundup of what all our tagged owls are up to, and some of the movements have been fascinating. The most dramatic by far have been by Hilton and Sterling, tagged by Tom McDonald on the south shore of Lake Ontario. Like many owls along the eastern Great Lakes, they’ve moved far to … Read More

Higbee on the Beach

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

When it snows, it really snows. Just a few weeks ago we were lamenting how, despite having had a number of our owls pass through New Jersey on their travels, we’d never been able to tag one in the Garden State. Then we hit a double header last week with Island Beach and Lenape, which were both tagged the same … Read More

Wells’ Excellent Summer Adventure

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

As we mentioned last week, two of our 2016-17 owls have come back south and checked in. Chickatawbut has been quiet since her initial check, likely because her battery is still recharging. But Wells checked in a few days ago and uploaded her entire previous eight months’ worth of data, all in one enormous batch — the first time we’ve … Read More

Island Beach and Lenape, Down the Shore

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

From literally the beginning of Project SNOWstorm in 2013, we’ve tracked snowy owls to the New Jersey coast. Our very first bird, Assateague, was captured in Maryland but quickly flew to New Jersey and spent the rest of the winter there. So, in subsequent years, did others tagged farther south, like Hungerford and Baltimore. But despite many attempts we’ve always … Read More

Sterling and Hilton Head West

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Now that’s an amazing picture. On Sunday, Tom McDonald and Melissa Mance Coniglio were trapping snowies at Fair Haven Beach on Little Sodus Bay, near Sterling, New York, on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Working one bird, they caught the attention of two others. With the first owl already captured, a second owl came in as well, with a third … Read More

Chickatawbut and Wells Come Back

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

Well, it’s been a busy week around here, an no mistake. We launched our 2017-18 research season, which is going gangbusters (thank you to everyone who has helped so far). We got Hilton, our first new owl of the season tagged, and we have been chasing snowies in a number of places, as we’ve shared with you all. We’ll have … Read More

On the Shoulders of Giants: Tom McDonald

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This is part of a periodic series on influential and pioneering snowy owl researchers, on whose work Project SNOWstorm is building.  * * * * * Although Project SNOWstorm is just marking its fourth birthday, we’re fortunate to have some of the most experienced snowy owl researchers in the world as part of our core team. One of the best … Read More

First of the Season: Hilton!

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

Our colleague Tom McDonald has kicked off the 2017-18 season in great form, tagging our first owl of the winter — a juvenile female he nicknamed “Hilton” for the town along Lake Ontario in western New York where she was caught. Hilton was captured near sunset the day after Thanksgiving along a newly finished rock jetty that pokes out into … Read More

SNOWstorm at 4

Scott WeidensaulUpdates

This time four years ago, I was contemplating a quiet winter in which I could finish the manuscript for a then already-overdue book on owls. What I wasn’t expecting was that just a week or two later my life — and the lives of dozens of my friends and colleagues — would be upended when […]

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