Merrimack Closes the Season

Scott WeidensaulUpdatesLeave a Comment

Merrimack sails away under a brilliant -- and unseasonably warm -- March sky. (©Raymond MacDonald)

Merrimack sails away under a brilliant — and unseasonably warm — March sky. (©Raymond MacDonald)

This week, Norman Smith tagged our ninth new owl of the winter, and our 43rd overall — Merrimack, an adult female that was the 31st snowy owl Norman caught and relocated this winter from Logan Airport in Boston.

Norman Smith, the director of the Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton, Mass., and one of the most experienced snowy owl researchers in the world, with Merrimack -- the 31st snowy he's moved from Logan Airport this winter. (©Raymond MacDonald)

Norman Smith, the director of the Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton, Mass., and one of the most experienced snowy owl researchers in the world, with Merrimack — the 31st snowy he’s moved from Logan Airport this winter. (©Raymond MacDonald)

Weighing a healthy 2,321g (5.1 pounds), Merrimack was named for the Merrimack River, in the tidal marshes at whose mouth she was released on Wednesday — the same place, at Salisbury Beach near Newburyport, Mass., where the male snowy Salisbury was moved in January.

This will likely be the last snowy owl we tag this winter — we’re seeing signs of increasing restlessness among our transmittered birds, and we expect they’ll start heading north very soon. But for now, Merrimack has remained close to her release point.

As usual, Ray MacDonald was on hand to photograph the release, and as usual, Ray’s images are stunning — enjoy!

Her solar-powered transmitter in place, Meriimack's multiple generations of flight feathers -- some old and faded, some new and glossy -- are obvious. Her molt patterns shows that Merrimack is at least three years old. (©Raymond MacDonald)

Her solar-powered transmitter in place, Meriimack’s multiple generations of flight feathers — some old and faded, some new and glossy — are obvious. Her molt patterns shows that Merrimack is at least three years old. (©Raymond MacDonald)

Spring is in the Air
Buckeye's Back!