Another SNOWstorm?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates25 Comments

Welcome to the first blog update of the 2014-15 winter season from Project SNOWstorm. Whether you’ve been following our progress from the very start, or just joined the excitement, we’re glad you’re here. Project SNOWstorm is a collaborative effort, involving dozens of researchers, banders, wildlife veterinarians and pathologists who are studying the movements of snowy owls. The project started last … Read More

Oswegatchie update

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Oswegatchie’s transmitter is sitting on my front porch in Pennsylvania, soaking up solar energy, having made the trip back from Quebec last week with our SNOWstorm colleague Jean-François Therrien at Hawk Mountain. (J.F. was himself on his way home from summer fieldwork with snowy owls on Bylot Island, in the Canadian Arctic.) Based on the transmitter data, we knew Oswegatchie … Read More

Losing Oswegatchie

Scott WeidensaulUpdates14 Comments

The last time we heard from Oswegatchie — the only snowy owl from our 2013-14 cadre that was still in cell range — was June 16, when he was hanging around the huge Mine Canadian open-pit gold mine at Malartic, in western Quebec, where he’d been since the beginning of the month. After he missed the next few check-in nights, … Read More

Waiting (again) for Oswegatchie

Scott WeidensaulUpdates6 Comments

Oswegatchie’s last check-in was June 16, when he was still hanging around the Mine Canadian in Malartic, Quebec — the largest open-pit gold mine in Canada. He’d been steering clear of the pit itself — not surprisingly, since a big hole in the ground is not the kind of habitat that would appeal to a snowy owl. (To get a … Read More

There and Back Again

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

Oswegatchie has been the gift that keeps on giving — and the owl that keeps coming back. Every time we think we’re about to see the last of him, he reverses course to stay within cell range, or finds the only cell tower for miles. And he did it again this week. On Friday night he was on Lac Malartic … Read More

Oswegatchie, Back on the Board

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Sorry for the lack of updates — I’ve been guiding in Alaska the past couple of weeks. And while I was gone, our final tagged owl of the season still in cell contact, Oswegatchie, seemed to have flown the coop. After spending several weeks near Fitzroy Harbour on the Ontario/Quebec border, on May 28 Oswegatchie flew briefly north into Quebec, … Read More

Same old, same old

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Not a lot to report — Oswegatchie has remained in the same general area southeast of the town of Fitzroy Harbour, Ontario, where he’s settled into a routine of hunting roadsides and railway tracks, as he’s done since stopping there three weeks ago. He’s part of a fast-dwindling cohort — a review of eBird records shows very few snowy owls … Read More

Spoke too soon

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Last week, when Oswegatchie failed to check in on Wednesday the 14th, we assumed it meant he had finally headed north — but we jumped the gun. The next day, Patricia and Daniel LaFortune — local SNOWstorm enthusiasts who had been keeping an eye on Oswegatchie — swung through that area and found him perched on a utility pole in … Read More

Seen…and gone?

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It looks as though our last snowy may have gone north. We had a report from Oswegatchie’s transmitter on Sunday evening, showing him still hunting the area around Fitzroy Harbour, Ontario the previous three days. But tonight, when he was due to check in again, there was nothing. The very warm weather in the East the past three days may … Read More

Chilling at Fitzroy Harbour

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The only owl we’re still in regular contact with is Oswegatchie, who has settled down to a new favorite spot in the Ottawa River valley of southeastern Ontario. Oswegatchie had passed through this area back in late April while moving west, then fetched up for a few days just east of Algonquin Provincial Park. The night of May 1 he … Read More