Sandy Neck update

Scott WeidensaulUpdates15 Comments

Sandy Neck’s remains were in very good hands today. Dr. Mark Pokras from Tuft’s famed wildlife health program in Boston performed the necropsy, and I wanted to share his findings — the interest in this bird and her loss has been tremendous. The only injury of any sort Dr. Pokras found was a small bruise deep in the left pectoral … Read More

Losing Sandy Neck

Scott WeidensaulUpdates19 Comments

It was an email we never wanted to get. Sunday night Dr. Rob Bierregaard from Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences — who has been studying ospreys on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts for years — emailed us to say that one of his colleagues had found a dead snowy owl along the beach there earlier in the day, … Read More

March 27 transmission update

Scott WeidensaulUpdates10 Comments

The last few updates we’ve been focusing on the owls that are moving the most, so I thought I’d start today’s update, based on our March 27 transmissions, with the snowy that is moving the least — Oswegatchie, in upstate New York along the St. Lawrence River. Since he was tagged March 8, he has barely stirred from the town … Read More

…And the rest of the bunch

Scott WeidensaulUpdates8 Comments

Two updates in one day is an indication of how much is going on around here — a lot.  The first update focused on Monocacy, but there have been some fascinating movements by some of the other owls, and a reappearance by a couple of birds that had been off the grid lately. All these maps have been updated (a … Read More

When an Owl Goes to Church

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

As I mentioned in my last update, we’ve been trying an experiment with Monocacy, the immature female snowy owl tagged in Maryland earlier this month. On Friday, our colleagues at CTT switched her transmitter to a new duty cycle that collects a GPS location every 30 seconds, instead of every 30 minutes. Consequently, we’re collecting data at 10 times the … Read More

Northward Bound

Scott WeidensaulUpdates16 Comments

There’s no longer any doubt that spring is working on our cadre of tagged owls. Four of them have made dramatic northward movements — and three of them have shown the kind of striking similarity in their paths that seems unlikely to be a coincidence. Four of the five Pennsylvania owls — Erie, Amishtown, Womelsdorf and Wiconisco — have moved … Read More


Scott WeidensaulUpdates19 Comments

Back in December, when the magnitude of the winter snowy owl irruption was becoming clear and we conceived the outlines of Project SNOWstorm, we set a pretty audacious goal — to tag more than 20 snowy owls this winter with GPS/GSM transmitters. Given that we had no funding and about a week’s planning, it may have seemed more foolhardy than … Read More

Number 20!

Scott WeidensaulUpdates6 Comments

To all the new readers who learned about Project SNOWstorm on NPR yesterday, welcome. We’re glad to have you, even if we were a little worried that the flood of traffic after the broadcast might crash the website. We reached a milestone of a different kind Tuesday evening, when I tagged our 20th snowy owl of the winter. When the … Read More

Two New Faces

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

At the start of Project SNOWstorm, we set an incredibly ambitious goal — to tag at least 20 snowy owls with GPS/GSM transmitters this winter. With the addition of two more owls in the past few days, we’re almost there. On March 6, Gene Jacobs tagged an immature female near Marshfield, Wisconsin, about 40 miles northwest of our nearest snowy … Read More

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Scott WeidensaulUpdates25 Comments

I apologize for the lack of updates the past week. It’s been an incredibly busy one, with a few unexpected wrenches and some great news balancing out each other. This will be a long update. The biggest news is that we completed our Indiegogo campaign this week at $36,663 — 183 percent of our original goal. We’re still gobsmacked by … Read More