Ramsey, on the Brink?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

Ramsey, our Minnesota-tagged owl who spent the winter just outside the Twin Cities, definitely hears the call of the north. After missing a check-in on April 23, his transmitter phoned home on Saturday night — from Saskatchewan! In the previous six days he’d left Ramsey County, ND, flown across the southwestern corner of Manitoba the night of April 22-23 — … Read More

April 26 update

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

The last transmission cycle seems to have been a quiet one; four owls checked in, and they pretty much stuck to where they’d been the last time they sent in data. Millcreek hadn’t checked in for more than a week, but he was just off the Buffalo waterfront, stubbornly clinging to what’s left of the ice of Lake Erie, which … Read More

From Ramsey, to Ramsey, by Ramsey

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

  Shakespeare said a rose by any name would smell as sweet, but what about an owl by any name? We nicknamed our tagged owls for locations and geographic features — a better means keeping them straight than easily confused band numbers, without needlessly anthropomorphizing them with human names. And we weren’t always especially creative — which is why the … Read More

What’s Next?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

Not surprisingly, we’ve been getting one question more than any other the past few weeks — what happens to Project SNOWstorm once the owls are back on the breeding grounds? Of course, the transmitters will continue to do their job of recording GPS locations every 30 minutes around the clock, although we won’t get that data until the owl comes … Read More

Heading North

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

The spell of mild weather that pushed through the upper Midwest and East over the weekend sparked some significant movement from our tagged owls. Erie made a 145-mile (233-km) trip up the diminishing ice on lower Lake Huron, having spent about a week at the inflow of the St. Clair River on the U.S./Canadian border. As of Monday evening he … Read More

April 14 update

Scott WeidensaulUpdates7 Comments

A quick update on the latest data downloads from the past few days, mostly transmissions from April 11 and 12. Millcreek and Womelsdorf were in fairly close proximity on the fast-shrinking ice of eastern Lake Erie. This combination image of the April 12 NOAA satellite image and their movement tracks show that they’re hanging near the ice edge — good … Read More

4/11 updates

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

The results are in from Plum’s necropsy (conducted, as was Sandy Neck’s, by Dr. Mark Pokras at Tufts in Boston), and they confirmed what we suspected — that she almost certainly drowned. Plum was “in great condition, [a] recently eaten rodent in the gizzard, and bloody foamy fluid in the trachea and lungs,” Dr. Pokras said. It seems all but … Read More

Wasn’t that a mighty storm…

Scott WeidensaulUpdates31 Comments

We already knew that the storm that swiped the New England coast March 26-28 was huge, both the winds and snow in its immediate wake, and the epic seas, storm surge and tides that slammed the coast during the days that followed. Sandy Neck got caught up in that storm and died — and now it appears that we also … Read More

Sandy Neck update

Scott WeidensaulUpdates15 Comments

Sandy Neck’s remains were in very good hands today. Dr. Mark Pokras from Tuft’s famed wildlife health program in Boston performed the necropsy, and I wanted to share his findings — the interest in this bird and her loss has been tremendous. The only injury of any sort Dr. Pokras found was a small bruise deep in the left pectoral … Read More

Losing Sandy Neck

Scott WeidensaulUpdates19 Comments

It was an email we never wanted to get. Sunday night Dr. Rob Bierregaard from Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences — who has been studying ospreys on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts for years — emailed us to say that one of his colleagues had found a dead snowy owl along the beach there earlier in the day, … Read More