ISOWG – All in This Together

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

(Earlier this year, SNOWstorm team members David Brinker and Jean-Fran├žois [J.F.] Therrien joined snowy owl research colleagues from around the world for a periodic meeting of the International Snowy Owl Working Group — which, by the time it ended, proved to be a bit more nerve-wracking than they expected. Here’s their report.) ————– Back in the day when international travel … Read More

The Last Three

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It’s spring — although here in New England, where I live, and in other parts of the East, you’d have been hard-pressed to know recently, with accumulating snow last weekend as far south as the mid-Atlantic region. Still, our tagged snowy owls realize the seasons are moving fast, and they have been as well. In the past couple of weeks, … Read More

A Snowy Owl Comes to Cape Ann

Scott WeidensaulUpdates11 Comments

Wherever you are during this pandemic lockdown, here’s a special treat to ease the passing of time. Kim Smith, a naturalist and filmmaker on the North Shore of Massachusetts, spent the winter of 2018 shadowing a young female snowy owl on windy, stormy Cape Ann. The result was five short films about the owl, which Kim was kind enough to … Read More

Norman Smith, Champion of the Owls

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We’re delighted to add to the applause for Project SNOWstorm co-founder Norman Smith of Massachusetts, who was honored last month with the “Champion of Owls” award at the annual Festival of Owls in Houston, MN. Norman, as many of our supporters know, has studied snowy owls since the early 1980s while working for Massachusetts Audubon, from which he recently retired. … Read More

Attaboy, Otter!

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This time of year, we can see some really dramatic changes — and that certainly has happened within the past week or so. We’ve gone from 15 owls in regular contact to just six, as most of the rest have apparently migrated out of cell range. Perhaps not surprisingly, two of the owls that wintered farthest north — Pettibone in … Read More

Losing Buckeye

Scott WeidensaulUpdates13 Comments

We’ve seen some major migration to the north this past week, including one owl that is most of the way to James Bay — but the biggest news is the saddest, because we’ve lost one of our oldest and most interesting owls. You’ll recall my relief last week that, having survived a winter at Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), Buckeye was … Read More

The Pull of Spring

Scott WeidensaulUpdates6 Comments

These have been strange and disquieting days for everyone, no less so for those of us with Project SNOWstorm. The global coronavirus pandemic has upended — well, pretty much everything. But even in hard times, owl research goes on. As of now, everyone on the SNOWstorm team is healthy; most are working from home, but some have unfortunately experienced layoffs … Read More

Project SNOWstorm’s Veterinary Health Assessment Collaborative

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

First things first; it’s clear that Covid-19 is upending normal life for everyone, and we hope everyone in the Project SNOWstorm community is taking the situation seriously, following expert guidance, and staying safe. This is a new and largely unknown time for all of us. That said, we’re still working hard on snowy owl research, and will continue to keep … Read More

Fond du Lac, and the Owl-fecta

Scott WeidensaulUpdates8 Comments

Wisconsin has been an important study area for us since we launched Project SNOWstorm, and it remained a priority region for us this winter, with plans to deploy two transmitters there — either on snowy owls relocated from Fox River valley airports, as we did last year, or individuals trapped on farm fields and grassland in the Badger State. It … Read More

At Last, Sweet Success on Amherst

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

Sometimes science happens thanks to careful planning, and sometimes opportunities unexpectedly present themselves. Our two newest tagged owls are examples of the latter — although the serendipity in question has taken longer than expected to blossom. Amherst Island, at the northeastern corner of Lake Ontario, has long been famous as a winter owl hotspot — not just for snowies, but … Read More