The Friday Funnies

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Artist and illustrator Bruce Van Patter of Pennsylvania is an old friend of mine, and a frequent companion over the decades banding hawks and owls with me. Every year, to ease the February blahs, he sets himself an art challenge, to draw one “Winter Doodle” each day. (Where he gets the creative energy on top of his full workload, I … Read More

Owl, or Falcon?

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As longtime followers of Project SNOWstorm are aware, there are few people with more field experience with snowy owls than Tom McDonald of Rochester, NY, who is in his fourth decade of snowy research. Last year we were privileged to present Tom with our first lifetime achievement award for his remarkable body of work. Here are Tom’s thoughts on a … Read More

Here, or There?

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To stay, or go: That is the question. Stella, one of our transmittered alumni, was originally tagged four years ago, in January 2018 on Amherst Island on the northeastern edge of Lake Ontario. She was a juvenile then, having hatched the previous summer. When she migrated north that spring, she swung wide to the west, up the western shore of … Read More

A D.C. Celebrity

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We’ve had some interesting developments with our tagged owls, but at the national level, the biggest snowy owl news this past week has been the growing attention on a snowy that’s wintering in downtown Washington, D.C., and appearing most every night like clockwork at Union Station, within view of the U.S. Capitol. In addition to drawing crowds of birders, photographers … Read More

Late Yul-tide Greetings

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The last gift of Yuletide came a little late this year for Project SNOWstorm. On Sunday evening, Jan. 9, we were surprised and delighted to see that Yul — an adult female originally captured at the Montréal airport in November 2019, and named for that airport’s international code, YUL — had just made a late return from the North. What’s … Read More

Hochelaga and Otter Return

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It’s always exciting when a previously tagged owl returns south, carrying with it months’ — or even years’ — worth of backlogged data. We got two such returns in the past week or so, including a snowy owl we’ve been especially hoping to hear from. Hochelaga: The day after Christmas we were pleased to see Hochelaga check in for the … Read More

From Us to You, Thank You

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Project SNOWstorm takes a unique approach to studying snowy owls. We are funded entirely by relatively small, tax-deductible contributions from the general public, without the large foundation, institutional or agency support typical of major research programs. Despite that, we have grown in just eight years into one of the largest studies of snowy owls anywhere in the world, and by … Read More

Columbia and Fond du Lac: An Update

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While we’re excited about our two new Québec owls, Nicolet and Odanak, we’re also keeping a close eye on our returnees from past winters, especially two in the upper Midwest, Columbia and Fond du Lac. Columbia, you may recall, returned Nov. 25 and uploaded part of her migration data from last spring, then went dark while her battery recharged. Two … Read More

Two New Faces

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While everyone’s been understandably focused on the holidays — including all of us at Project SNOWstorm — we’ve had some exciting new developments. The biggest news is the addition of two more Québec owls, moved in recent weeks from the Montréal-Trudeau airport to safer haunts across the St. Lawrence. Both are adult females, and one is, as they say, known … Read More

Snowy Owl Winter Mortality Investigations

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Transmitters get the glory, but there is a less glamorous but equally important part of Project SNOWstorm — the work done by our veterinary team members since the snowy owl irruption in the winter of 2013-14, when SNOWstorm was founded. Since then, the veterinary team has conducted necropsies (post-mortem exams) and collected physical data on more than 300 owls salvaged … Read More