A New Season Draws Near

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

It’s that time of year, when the first snowy owls are starting to appear south of the Arctic — a few have popped up in southern Ontario and the Great Lakes region in recent weeks, and quite a few in the Canadian prairies in southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. This will be Project SNOWstorm’s 11th season of snowy owl research, … Read More

Late News from the North

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

We’re on the cusp of May, a time when snowy owls are usually off our radar for the summer — but we actually have some late news from three of our tagged owls, while two that had been lingering in the south slipped away without leaving a goodbye note. We’ll start with the latter pair first. Salyer had been loafing … Read More

No More Messing Around

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

Last time, we puzzled a bit about the ways in which some of our tagged snowy owls were acting — Columbia moving due west instead of north; Huron making a gigantic loop around Lake Huron to wind up basically where she started; Otter, Salyer and Alderbrooke just sitting tight. Well, within the past week migration got serious. Huron turned north … Read More

Going West and Looping the Loop

Scott WeidensaulUpdates1 Comment

So, the great “Bolt for the North” we were expecting last week didn’t materialize, although one snowy did shift his compass in that direction and one of our long-stationary owls did begin to move significantly — although to the west, not the north. And one of the owls that had been migrating north did a complete turnaround and is back … Read More

They’re Off (Some of Them, Anyway)

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

Just a quick update, but after a few false starts, two of our tagged owls are moving north in a serious way. Huron, after lingering for several weeks at the edge of Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron, flew 220 miles (355 km) north, up the “hand” of Michigan’s mitten, across the Straits of Mackinac and onto the Upper Peninsula, covering … Read More

The Next SNOWstorm Generation?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates11 Comments

Since Project SNOWstorm’s inception, all of us here have felt that since our work with snowy owls is funded entirely by the public, through hundreds of small donations every year, we want to make as much of our data publicly available as is possible. (And of course, as much as is prudent; as we’ve noted many times, all of our … Read More

Alderbrooke, All Over the Place

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

For an owl that was off our radar until just a few weeks ago, Alderbrooke has proven to be one of the most wide-ranging of this winter’s owls. When she first popped back on the grid last month she was on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River in southern Québec, 120 km (75 miles) northeast of Québec City. … Read More

First on the Way

Scott WeidensaulUpdates7 Comments

And they’re off. We’ve been wondering when the first significant push north would occur among this winter’s cadre of snowy owls, and it appears Huron, the adult female that had been wintering in southern Ontario, is the first out of the gates. Since late January she’s been hanging out south of Tilbury, ON, between Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, … Read More

A Big (Pleasant) Surprise

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

We’re usually on tenterhooks in late autumn and early winter — from about mid-November to the end of December — expecting to hear from the first returning tagged snowy owls. As we’ve mentioned before, this was a very slow year on that front — just two returning veterans, Columbia and Otter, compared with a more typical winter like 2021-22 when … Read More

A Last Hurrah on the Prairie

Scott WeidensaulUpdates11 Comments

Working with snowy owls is not for the faint of heart; you’re outside for long hours in weather that sends most people scurrying for the warmth of a wood stove and a mug of hot chocolate. And in a winter like this, when there’s been no appreciable irruption and the owls are thin on the land, those hours and days … Read More