A tough loss

Scott WeidensaulUpdates24 Comments

As soon as I heard Jenny Martin’s voice on the phone early this morning, I knew it wasn’t good news. Jenny is the USDA Wildlife Services technician at Philadelphia International Airport, and she’d just gotten word that the crew of a cargo plane had reported hitting a snowy owl at 7 a.m. today. The airport operations crew quickly recovered the … Read More


Scott WeidensaulUpdatesLeave a Comment

Last evening was a big night — we received updated locations for four of our tagged owls. (Some are on a different check-in schedule, and some are probably having battery issues that prevented them from checking in). We wondered if the reason Erie had been offline for six days was poor recharge on his battery, but last night we found … Read More

Braddock and Cranberry

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

We wanted to share some photos of the tagging and release of our first two New York owls, Braddock and Cranberry, over the weekend, courtesy of Aaron Winters.

Freedom’s just another word for ‘owl’

Mike LanzoneUpdates10 Comments

On the evening of Jan. 25, Gene Jacobs and I were trapping near Appleton, Wisconsin. The wind was howling and temperature was only around 4F, with wind chill values down around -20F. We found a female owl huddled behind a snow bank, presumably to get out of the wind and blowing snow, and we looked for a spot to set … Read More

One, Two, Three, Four More

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

  It’s been an incredibly productive weekend for SNOWstorm collaborators, and while I have to keep this update short, the big news is that we have four more tagged owls sending us data. In Wisconsin Saturday evening, Gene Jacobs and Mike Lanzone tagged an immature female near Appleton, a bird they nicknamed Freedom for the nearby town. We’ll have the … Read More

Return of the prodigal owl

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

    Assateague’s back, and we couldn’t be happier. You’ll recall that he was the first snowy owl we tagged this winter, back on Dec. 17 on his namesake island in Maryland. He’s also been one of the most exciting to track, moving more than 150 miles in a couple of weeks around Delaware Bay and up the New Jersey … Read More

Erie and Millcreek

Scott WeidensaulUpdates24 Comments

What a week. There’s a lot of news to share, all of it good, which will come in a couple of updates. But the biggest development is that earlier this week, Mike Lanzone and Tom McDonald tagged two more snowies in northwestern Pennsylvania at Erie International Airport. But that success only came after two long, frustrating days trying to catch … Read More

How to Make an Owl Researcher’s Heart Stop

Scott WeidensaulUpdatesLeave a Comment

Every time we get an upload of data from Philly’s transmitter, which happens every third day, I hold my breath a little until I’m sure he’s still OK. As we’ve pointed out before, living in the middle of one of the nation’s busiest airports, and hunting beside the busiest interstate in the country, is an invitation for trouble. We’ve also … Read More

Airport Food Court

Scott WeidensaulUpdatesLeave a Comment

Most people want to get in and out of airports as quickly as possible, but not Philly. Apparently this young male owl, which we tagged on Jan. 9, has found his own food court at Philadelphia International Airport — though it’s not the safest place to hunt. One theory about why airports are so attractive to snowy owls is that, … Read More

Release the maps!

Drew WeberUpdates4 Comments

One of our goals for this project was to provide you with updated maps to keep tabs on the Snowy Owls we are tracking. Thanks to Don Crockett, this is now a reality! Don worked with us to build some incredible interactive maps, allowing our fans and supporters to follow each of the owls. Under optimal weather conditions, the owls … Read More