They’re Off (Some of Them, Anyway)

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

Just a quick update, but after a few false starts, two of our tagged owls are moving north in a serious way. Huron, after lingering for several weeks at the edge of Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron, flew 220 miles (355 km) north, up the “hand” of Michigan’s mitten, across the Straits of Mackinac and onto the Upper Peninsula, covering … Read More

The Next SNOWstorm Generation?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates11 Comments

Since Project SNOWstorm’s inception, all of us here have felt that since our work with snowy owls is funded entirely by the public, through hundreds of small donations every year, we want to make as much of our data publicly available as is possible. (And of course, as much as is prudent; as we’ve noted many times, all of our … Read More

Alderbrooke, All Over the Place

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

For an owl that was off our radar until just a few weeks ago, Alderbrooke has proven to be one of the most wide-ranging of this winter’s owls. When she first popped back on the grid last month she was on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River in southern Québec, 120 km (75 miles) northeast of Québec City. … Read More

First on the Way

Scott WeidensaulUpdates7 Comments

And they’re off. We’ve been wondering when the first significant push north would occur among this winter’s cadre of snowy owls, and it appears Huron, the adult female that had been wintering in southern Ontario, is the first out of the gates. Since late January she’s been hanging out south of Tilbury, ON, between Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, … Read More

A Big (Pleasant) Surprise

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

We’re usually on tenterhooks in late autumn and early winter — from about mid-November to the end of December — expecting to hear from the first returning tagged snowy owls. As we’ve mentioned before, this was a very slow year on that front — just two returning veterans, Columbia and Otter, compared with a more typical winter like 2021-22 when … Read More

A Last Hurrah on the Prairie

Scott WeidensaulUpdates11 Comments

Working with snowy owls is not for the faint of heart; you’re outside for long hours in weather that sends most people scurrying for the warmth of a wood stove and a mug of hot chocolate. And in a winter like this, when there’s been no appreciable irruption and the owls are thin on the land, those hours and days … Read More

Homebodies and Wanderers (and One Crazy Mink)

Scott WeidensaulUpdates13 Comments

We’re at the point in the winter where we have a sense of the personalities — and I use the word advisedly, because individual birds certainly do have personalities — of the owls we’re tracking. Some of them habitually find a spot and stick like a tick; others, at least as evidenced by their GPS data, have wandering wings. We … Read More

Introducing Salyer

Scott WeidensaulUpdates6 Comments

Our banding teams have been making up for lost time recently, and that includes our longtime colleague Matt Solensky, a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Prairie Research Center in North Dakota, who in his spare time traps and bands snowy owls for Project SNOWstorm. As we’d noted in past blogs, Matt’s been out on the prairies a lot … Read More

Next up: Newton

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

As we indicated in our last post, our newest banding team up in Ontario has been busy. On Jan. 7 Charlotte England and Malcolm Wilson from the Simcoe Raptor Research Group tagged Huron, an adult female — and a few days later they were out again early, working an area of southern Ontario west of Guelph. On Jan. 11, they … Read More