Chilling at Fitzroy Harbour

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The only owl we’re still in regular contact with is Oswegatchie, who has settled down to a new favorite spot in the Ottawa River valley of southeastern Ontario. Oswegatchie had passed through this area back in late April while moving west, then fetched up for a few days just east of Algonquin Provincial Park. The night of May 1 he … Read More

Oswegatchie, Kewaunee — and a Surprise from Hungerford

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The season is definitely winding down, and it seems as though several of the snowy owls that were near the edge of regular cell range may have passed beyond it, since only three checked in Thursday and Friday. Oswegatchie, who had been west of Ottawa, moved right to the edge of 7,600 square kilometer (2,900 square mile) Algonquin Provincial Park, … Read More

Ramsey, on the Brink?

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Ramsey, our Minnesota-tagged owl who spent the winter just outside the Twin Cities, definitely hears the call of the north. After missing a check-in on April 23, his transmitter phoned home on Saturday night — from Saskatchewan! In the previous six days he’d left Ramsey County, ND, flown across the southwestern corner of Manitoba the night of April 22-23 — … Read More

April 26 update

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The last transmission cycle seems to have been a quiet one; four owls checked in, and they pretty much stuck to where they’d been the last time they sent in data. Millcreek hadn’t checked in for more than a week, but he was just off the Buffalo waterfront, stubbornly clinging to what’s left of the ice of Lake Erie, which … Read More

From Ramsey, to Ramsey, by Ramsey

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  Shakespeare said a rose by any name would smell as sweet, but what about an owl by any name? We nicknamed our tagged owls for locations and geographic features — a better means keeping them straight than easily confused band numbers, without needlessly anthropomorphizing them with human names. And we weren’t always especially creative — which is why the … Read More

What’s Next?

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Not surprisingly, we’ve been getting one question more than any other the past few weeks — what happens to Project SNOWstorm once the owls are back on the breeding grounds? Of course, the transmitters will continue to do their job of recording GPS locations every 30 minutes around the clock, although we won’t get that data until the owl comes … Read More

Heading North

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The spell of mild weather that pushed through the upper Midwest and East over the weekend sparked some significant movement from our tagged owls. Erie made a 145-mile (233-km) trip up the diminishing ice on lower Lake Huron, having spent about a week at the inflow of the St. Clair River on the U.S./Canadian border. As of Monday evening he … Read More

April 14 update

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A quick update on the latest data downloads from the past few days, mostly transmissions from April 11 and 12. Millcreek and Womelsdorf were in fairly close proximity on the fast-shrinking ice of eastern Lake Erie. This combination image of the April 12 NOAA satellite image and their movement tracks show that they’re hanging near the ice edge — good … Read More

4/11 updates

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The results are in from Plum’s necropsy (conducted, as was Sandy Neck’s, by Dr. Mark Pokras at Tufts in Boston), and they confirmed what we suspected — that she almost certainly drowned. Plum was “in great condition, [a] recently eaten rodent in the gizzard, and bloody foamy fluid in the trachea and lungs,” Dr. Pokras said. It seems all but … Read More

Wasn’t that a mighty storm…

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We already knew that the storm that swiped the New England coast March 26-28 was huge, both the winds and snow in its immediate wake, and the epic seas, storm surge and tides that slammed the coast during the days that followed. Sandy Neck got caught up in that storm and died — and now it appears that we also … Read More