The Return of Argus

Scott WeidensaulUpdates15 Comments

Sorry for the silence the past two weeks — as we’ve mentioned before (but it bears repeating), everyone involved in Project SNOWstorm does this on the side as a volunteer. Sometimes our day jobs get hectic enough that other things are delayed, and that’s been the case for me the past few weeks. Thanks for your patience. But we’re leading … Read More

A Long, Long Way from a Mickey D

Scott WeidensaulUpdates15 Comments

If you were anywhere near a news feed last week, you know that the biggest snowy owl news didn’t involve one of our tagged birds, but rather the first snowy to appear in New York’s Central Park in 130 years. The owl made a brief appearance on the park’s North Meadows ball fields on Wednesday, Jan. 27, thrilling hordes of … Read More

A Whole Lotta News

Scott WeidensaulUpdates28 Comments

Whew! Where to start? It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, and we have a lot of news to cover since the calendar flipped over to 2021. One owl has gone AWOL, one has been recaptured and relieved of his transmitter, and another old friend unexpectedly sent up a signal flare. Let’s start with Dorval, who had been wintering in … Read More

A Yul-etide Visit

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We’re delighted to announce that another of our 2019-20 class of owls is back on the grid — Yul, an adult female tagged in November 2019 at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (aviation call sign: YUL). She was trapped at the airport by Falcon Environmental, fitted with a transmitter by SNOWstorm team member and McGill University Ph.D. student Rebecca McCabe, and relocated … Read More

Testing a New Design

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

The first winter we launched Project SNOWstorm, we were scrambling to adapt existing technology to a species that had only rarely been fitted with transmitters. The GPS/GSM units we use, which are manufactured by New Jersey-based Cellular Tracking Technologies, are about the size of a small matchbox, with a solar panel on the top. They weigh about 45 grams, or … Read More

What Does Half a Million Owl Locations Look Like?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates12 Comments

Since we started Project SNOWstorm seven years ago this month, we’ve tracked more than 90 snowy owls across 28 states and provinces, as far south as Virginia and northwest clear to the edge of the Arctic Ocean — the last land until Siberia. Some of the owls met unfortunate ends relatively soon after we began to track them, most often … Read More

Alderbrooke

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We’re pleased to announce the first newly tagged owl of the season — a heavily marked juvenile female we’ve nicknamed Alderbrooke, trapped and relocated from the Montréal airport. Trapped and relocated twice, in fact; much as with Dorval last year, Alderbrooke as proven to be a persistent boomerang. She was initially trapped Dec. 9 by Julie Lecours of Falcon Environmental, … Read More

An Early Gift: Simcoe’s Back!

Scott WeidensaulUpdates6 Comments

Back on Nov. 1, we had tantalizing whisper from one of our 2019-20 class of snowy owls — Simcoe, an adult female we had tagged last February on Amherst Island in eastern Lake Ontario. The first of each month, all the transmitters are programmed to send a simple “I’m here!” message if they’re in cell range, even if the signal … Read More

A Quick Update

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

While we were excited to see Redwood come back last week, we were also closely monitoring our other three (so far this winter) returnee snowies — Stella, Columbia and Dorval. Stella had been off the grid for 10 days, last heard from in Richland County, North Dakota, way down in the southeastern corner of the state near the South Dakota … Read More

Redwood’s Return

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

There are few more exciting moments for us here at Project SNOWstorm than when an owl that’s been out of touch for months checks back in again. So we were pretty jazzed last week when the transmitter carried by Redwood — a  dazzlingly all-white adult male snowy tagged last January in upstate New York — connected for the first time … Read More