Oh, Canada!

Scott WeidensaulUpdates8 Comments

I was going to draw some sappy Valentine metaphor tonight, but the fact is, we feel like kids at Christmas every time the transmitters check in — and tonight in particular. I was relieved to see that Amishtown is staying put in Lancaster County, at least for the moment. He’s wandered around a three-mile-by-three-mile area, but this evening was back … Read More

Amishtown joins the crew

Scott WeidensaulUpdates12 Comments

One of the best — and worst — places for snowy owls this winter has been airports. The owls love them probably because they so closely resemble the flat, treeless terrain of the Arctic, but they’re obviously dangerous places, both for the owls and for the planes (and their passengers) that might hit them. We found that out last month, … Read More

Lucky #13

Steve HuyUpdates4 Comments

I was really excited to be in charge of trapping snowy owls in Delaware. I needed to place two transmitters sponsored by the Delmarva Ornithological Society, but I just wasn’t having any luck. Several trips, zillions of miles on the car, hundreds of dollars in gas. I visited many places where owls were reliably spotted for days on end to … Read More

The latest updates

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

Last night eight of our tagged owls checked in. Despite being tired from five fruitless hours trying to catch a snowy owl here in Pennsylvania that we want to tag, I sat up for many hours more going through the latest movement data from our growing cohort of transmittered snowies. The big news is that we added two more owls … Read More

Snowies on Ice

Scott WeidensaulUpdates8 Comments

We’ve been waiting to hear from Erie, one of our tagged birds in northwestern Pennsylvania, but I suspect he’s in a place with poor cell reception — the middle of Lake Erie somewhere. Erie’s been especially fun to follow because he’s already made several long voyages, so to speak, on wind-drifted ice sheets on the lake. Last month he spent … Read More

SNOWday Science: Are Snowy Owls Diurnal or Nocturnal?

Guest PostUpdates10 Comments

Use the SNOWstorm Tracker to explore the travels of Snowy Owl “Assateague” for 24 hours along Reed’s Beach, Cape May, New Jersey and draw your own conclusion about whether “Assateague” is diurnal or nocturnal. Red arrows indicate daytime or diurnal movements. Blue arrows indicate nighttime or nocturnal movements. Backgrounder First some definitions. Nocturnal animals are active at night. Diurnal animals are active during … Read More

Meet Project SNOWstorm’s #1 fan!

Guest PostUpdates6 Comments

One of the unexpected surprises for the SNOWstorm team is who has turned out to be our strongest promoters. Carl Wagner is a 9-year-old third grader from Honey Brook, PA. He discovered Operation SNOWstorm with his mom and 2 older brothers. They all got very excited when they learned that Philly’s release site was within 3 miles of their home and … Read More

Meet Ramsey

Scott WeidensaulUpdates7 Comments

We’re continuing to add new tagged owls in new areas, and one of the latest is Ramsey, an immature male banded and tagged last weekend by Frank Nicoletti and David Alexander near the town of the same name, northwest of the Twin Cities. This is our first tagged snowy in Minnesota, which lies at is the western end of the … Read More

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