Well, Well, Well — Wells is Back

Scott WeidensaulUpdatesLeave a Comment

It’s been a busy week at Project SNOWstorm, with a shuffling of the deck among our tagged owls, some closure on an early loss, and the return of very familiar name. First, though, I want to acknowledge what many of you have noticed — we still don’t have maps posted for our four newest owls. That’s because of a systems … Read More

Bonjour, Yul; Au Revoir, Montréal

Scott WeidensaulUpdates6 Comments

Whenever you work with wild animals, you have to be prepared for your expectations to be upended, and that’s no less true with birds as unpredictable as snowy owls. After introducing our two new prairie owls in North Dakota yesterday, we were planning to highlight two newly tagged owls that were relocated last week from the Montréal-Trudeau airport in Québec, … Read More

Our Deepest Thanks

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

This year the start of our field work, the return of many of our tagged owls and the launch of our annual funding campaign coincided with Giving Tuesday — and the Project SNOWstorm community stepped up in astonishing fashion. We are already more than a quarter of the way to our goal in just a few days. Thank you. As … Read More

New Faces on the Prairie

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

When we said this winter was off to a fast start, we weren’t kidding. In addition to four previously tagged owls that have already come south into cell range, our collaborators have tagged four new snowies, each one filling in important gaps in our sample of different regions, habitats, ages and sexes. Today we’ll introduce you to Medina and Pearl, … Read More

Summer in the Arctic — Following the Kids

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

(Again this year, SNOWstorm team member Jean-François Therrien of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was in the Canadian Arctic studying nesting snowy owls with his colleagues at Laval University in Quebec — and expanding one of our most exciting research projects. Here’s his 2019 report.) After several years of low lemming abundance, and no breeding owls, on our long-term study site of … Read More

Otter’s Excellent Summer

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

Ever since we started Project SNOWstorm in December 2013, we’ve relied on an exceedingly cool piece of technology — the GPS/GSM transmitters made by Cellular Tracking Technology. As longtime SNOWstorm fans will know, these devices log locations from the GPS satellite system, but transmit those data to us via the GSM cell network. That means that while the snowy owls … Read More

A New Season, a Lot of News

Scott WeidensaulUpdates16 Comments

Welcome back to the start of a new season of snowy owl research with Project SNOWstorm! This is our seventh year studying the movements and ecology of these amazing Arctic predators, and it promises to one of the most interesting ever. We’re delighted to say that things are awfully exciting right out of the gate this year, with a number … Read More

Early May Update

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

Things are popping, as spring migration rolls along. Only two of our remaining owls — Pickford, up on Prince Edward Island, and Seneca on the (very rapidly) diminishing ice along the northeast shore of Lake Erie — have been stationary this past week. Wells continued moving north through southern Quebec, and on April 29 was just south of Lac Saint-Jean, … Read More

On the Road

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

The season is winding down, and fewer of our 2018-19 owls are still in regular contact. Most of those that remain look as though they’re pushing north as well. Plainfield — who has already made a more than 1,280-mile (2000-km) loop from where she was tagged in Wisconsin, up into southwestern Ontario, then south and west through Minnesota — checked … Read More

A Year in the Life of Chickatawbut

Scott WeidensaulUpdates1 Comment

Snowy owls never fail to surprise us, but we really got a shocker this week when Chickatawbut phoned home — almost exactly a year since the last time we’d heard from this particular female. SNOWstorm co-founder Norman Smith, from Massachusetts Audubon, captured her as a juvenile in March 2017 at Boston’s Logan Airport, tagged her and released her at Salisbury … Read More