Wells, Our Newest Maine Owl

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As longtime SNOWstorm followers know, one benefit of our project is finding ways to help airport officials and federal wildlife agencies learn how snowy owls relate to airports. (Because airports look a little like the Arctic, at least to an owl — flat, open and treeless — they tend to be magnets for the birds.) Last year we cooperated with Maine Wildlife Services, … Read More

A Close Call, and a Tourist Owl

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A few days after the new year had started, birders found a snowy owl in the rolling farmlands and woodlots of Bradford County in northeastern Pennsylvania, not far below the New York line. Because relatively few snowies show up in this area, the bird became a minor local celebrity, with half a dozen or more birders and photographers lined up … Read More

Oswego Joins the Crew

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Sorry for the silence — I’ve been leading a birding tour out of the country the past week and a half, but things were hopping at Project SNOWstorm while I was off the grid. The big news is that we have our first newly tagged owl of 2017, caught by Tom McDonald on Jan. 19 at Oswego Harbor in upstate New … Read More

All Over the Map

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There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes at Project SNOWstorm since the beginning of the year — though not always the working out the way we hoped or expected, which is often the way things go with wildlife. Here’s an update on what we’ve been up to. * * * * * We continue to track the movements of … Read More

Tom’s 500th

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  SNOWstorm team member Tom McDonald’s been on a tear since the tail end of December, when a lot of snowies moved into northern and central New York. A bander like Tom never knows what that might mean. On Jan. 2, for instance, he got a call from a birder that there was an injured snowy owl in a field … Read More

Challenge Match from the Bobolink Foundation!

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What an incredible show of support! In just a few weeks, people across North America have contributed to Project SNOWstorm with such generosity that we’re already more than 70 percent of the way to our goal of funding this year’s snowy owl research. Thank you so much.   Now we have some even more exciting news to share. The Bobolink … Read More

A Baltimore Four-peat

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We’ve tagged more than 40 snowy owls in the past three years, and every one of them has given us insights and surprises. Like parents with a large family, we try not to have favorites. But it’s fair to say that in our eyes, Baltimore is first among equals. We initially banded him as a juvenile in his first winter … Read More

Eyes on Dakota

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One of the best things about Project SNOWstorm is the way it’s created a community of people interested in snowy owls — we researchers who form the core team, the hundreds of people who have contributed to make the work possible, and the thousands of people who follow what the owls are doing every winter. As we’ve mentioned several times … Read More

Returning Owls! Hardscrabble and Dakota Are Back

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While we’ve been looking back this past week at Project SNOWstorm’s accomplishments, we’ve also had some exciting new developments behind the scenes: the return of two of our favorite owls. Hardscrabble and Dakota are back — and Dakota, it appears, has a bun in the oven. On Nov. 10, my wife and I had just been seated at a restaurant … Read More

SNOWstorm’s Birthday (part 3)

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We’re marking the third anniversary of Project SNOWstorm, which kicked off in December 2013 with our first tagged snowy owls. This is the third and final look back at what we’ve been able to do with your help, since SNOWstorm is funded entirely by donations from the public. In the lab: While the GPS transmitters we’ve placed on more than 40 … Read More