The Pull of the North

Scott WeidensaulUpdates7 Comments

Breaking, and very unwelcome news: As I was preparing to post this update, we learned that Roc, the adult female tagged by Tom McDonald’s team at the Douglass-Greater Rochester (NY) airport earlier this winter, was found dead along on off-ramp from I-390 close to the airport, the apparent victim of a vehicle collision. We’re grateful to the Monroe County Sheriff’s … Read More

Sad News

Scott WeidensaulUpdates8 Comments

To our great sadness and disappointment, Amherst’s injuries were worse than we thought, and she did not make it. As I explained in our last post Amherst, an adult female we tagged in February 2020, was found about six weeks ago on Simcoe Island, Ontario, (not on Amherst Island, as I originally thought) with what appeared to be a relatively … Read More

Some TLC for Amherst

Scott WeidensaulUpdates10 Comments

One of our previously tagged owls to return last autumn was Amherst, an adult female captured in February 2020 on Amherst Island on Lake Ontario. She was fitted with what was then an experimental GSM cellular/Argos satellite hybrid transmitter. After she migrated north that spring we didn’t hear anything from her for another 19 months, until she came south last … Read More

On the Move (Direction, um…Uncertain)

Scott WeidensaulUpdates10 Comments

The past couple of weeks have seen some pulses of late-winter warmth into the Northeast, and along with longer days, it’s definitely having an effect on some of our owls. This is the time of year when we expect breeding-age adults especially to get antsy, and several of them have indeed begun moving in a noticeable way — though in … Read More

Echo on the Ice

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First off, an apology for the long silence the past couple of weeks. I was out of the country co-leading a Peruvian Amazon tour (during which we got to see a few owls — no snowies, obviously, but one trip highlight was a gorgeous spectacled owl). There’s been a lot going on in my absence, though, so I’ll try to … Read More

Romulus (No Remus, at Least Not Yet)

Scott WeidensaulUpdates8 Comments

Even as the season’s winding down, things are heating back up. We have a new owl in Michigan to introduce — Romulus, an immature male named, not for one of the legendary founders of ancient Rome (at least not directly), but for the town of Romulus, MI. That’s actually where the Detroit Metro Airport is located, and that’s where airport … Read More

One, Two, Three New Owls

Scott WeidensaulUpdates8 Comments

This winter has been dominated mostly by news of our many returning snowies, with only three newly tagged owls, all relocated from the Montréal airport — Aimé, who immediately returned to the airfield and was killed by the back-blast of a taxiing jet, and Nicolet and Odanak, both of whom also returned to the airport but have thus far mostly … Read More

Zooming in on Otter

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

A couple of weeks ago we were concerned we might lose track of Otter, one of our veteran owls wintering this season near Lake Abitibi in western Québec, when an update to his transmitter’s firmware caused it to start rebooting over and over and over again. Fortunately, CTT was able to push through a corrective command, and we’re back to normal. Even better, at the end … Read More

The Friday Funnies

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

Artist and illustrator Bruce Van Patter of Pennsylvania is an old friend of mine, and a frequent companion over the decades banding hawks and owls with me. Every year, to ease the February blahs, he sets himself an art challenge, to draw one “Winter Doodle” each day. (Where he gets the creative energy on top of his full workload, I … Read More

Owl, or Falcon?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

As longtime followers of Project SNOWstorm are aware, there are few people with more field experience with snowy owls than Tom McDonald of Rochester, NY, who is in his fourth decade of snowy research. Last year we were privileged to present Tom with our first lifetime achievement award for his remarkable body of work. Here are Tom’s thoughts on a … Read More