West is Best

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Just a quick follow-up on my post about the huge Eastern storm and its potential impact on snowy owls. I heard from our friend, photographer and self-described beach bum “Northside Jim” Verhagen, who blogs about the birdlife along the Holgate unit of Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge on the New Jersey coast — and who corrected me about the way the … Read More

Weather Bombs and Snowy Owls

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If you live anywhere along the Eastern seaboard, you don’t need me to tell you that one of the largest winter storms in living memory — arguably the largest such storm ever recorded — has been pounding the East Coast for the past two days. This “bomb cyclone,” as such powerful, rapidly intensifying storms are known, has broken all manner … Read More

Hilton Hits the Ice

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Happy New Year! This marks Project SNOWstorm’s fourth anniversary — we launched our webpage, tracking our first owl Assateague, over the New Year’s holiday of 2013-14. We’ve come a long way since then, and it’s been great to have you all along for the ride. Thanks so much to everyone who has donated to our current funding campaign in the … Read More

Halfway there!

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Here’s proof again (if we needed it) that the Project SNOWstorm community is terrific: Thanks to 200 incredibly generous donors, we’re already halfway to our 2017-18 funding goal to cover the expenses for this winter’s work, only a month into the campaign. We’re honored and humbled by everyone’s continued faith in the work we’re doing, which wouldn’t be possible without … Read More

Move or Stay?

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One of our research goals this year was to tag snowies as early as possible, to better understand their early movements, and how and where they decide to settle down for the winter. This past week or more, we’ve seen one of our newly tagged owls appear to do just that, while four others still seem to have a case … Read More

In Memorium: Don Crockett

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We at Project SNOWstorm were shocked and saddened to learn that our longtime colleague Don Crockett, of New Britain, CT, passed away unexpectedly last week, at the age of 56. Almost everyone who visits the SNOWstorm site has benefitted from Don’s work. In the project’s very earliest days in January 2014, he reached out to us with an offer to … Read More

Welcome Back, Hardscrabble!

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The news last week was somber, with the death, probably from electrocution, of a newly tagged owl in Maine. So we’re delighted to share some very exciting positive news — Hardscrabble is back. Longtime SNOWstorm supporters will certainly recognize that name. Hardscrabble is an adult male originally tagged in February 2016 by Tom McDonald, near Hardscrabble Road on Cape Vincent, … Read More

The Wrong Kind of News

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This was supposed to be a good-news story — tagging our first Maine owl of the year, a bird moved from a busy airport to the safety of a national wildlife refuge. Unfortunately, it’s turned out instead to be a sober reminder of the many dangers that snowy owls face when they come south. On Dec. 6 USDA Wildlife Services, … Read More

Moving West, Moving North, Moving South

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It’s been a while since we’ve done a roundup of what all our tagged owls are up to, and some of the movements have been fascinating. The most dramatic by far have been by Hilton and Sterling, tagged by Tom McDonald on the south shore of Lake Ontario. Like many owls along the eastern Great Lakes, they’ve moved far to … Read More

Higbee on the Beach

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When it snows, it really snows. Just a few weeks ago we were lamenting how, despite having had a number of our owls pass through New Jersey on their travels, we’d never been able to tag one in the Garden State. Then we hit a double header last week with Island Beach and Lenape, which were both tagged the same … Read More